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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Case Report of Cardiogenic Syncope Due to Loperamide Abuse: Acute Presentation and Novel Use of Buprenorphine


Introduction: Loperamide is a non-prescription anti-diarrheal agent targeting µ-opioid receptors in the intestinal tract. At high doses it crosses the blood-brain barrier, where µ-opioid agonism can cause euphoric effects. Misuse has been increasing for both the euphoric effects and as an alternative treatment for opioid dependence and withdrawal.

Case Report: Here we report the case of a 30-year-old woman presenting with syncope, who was found to have severe myocardial conduction delays in the setting of chronic loperamide abuse.

Conclusion: Treatment with sodium bicarbonate and hypertonic sodium resulted in improvement of her conduction abnormalities. Prior to discharge she was initiated on buprenorphine for her opioid use disorder.

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