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Man Dies From Anti-Diarrhea Drug Poisoning; Experts Say Cases Up 167 Percent

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FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) – The medical examiner has determined a Fox Chapel man's death was a result of loperamide poisoning.

Arjun Patel, 29, died in November, but the cause of death was not released until this week.

arjun patel
(Photo Credit: KDKA-TV)

Loperamide is the active ingredient in anti-diarrhea products like Imodium A-D.

Earlier this year, the FDA asked manufacturers of anti-diarrhea medications to change the way they package their products. The FDA says the voluntary measures are needed to curb the growing abuse of loperamide.

Locally, loperamide poisoning cases have sharply risen over the past two years.

"Since 2015 through the end of 2017, just at the Pittsburgh Poison Center, we saw a 167 percent increase in calls related to loperamide toxicity, with more than half of those people needing to go to the hospital," Dr. Michael Lynch, of UPMC's Pittsburgh Poison Center, said.

Addicts have been buying hundreds of pills and taking them to get high.

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