A 27-year-old man from Manchester was found dead in a public bathroom stall after overdosing on 150 tablets of anti-diarrhea medication.
Aaron McCaffrey was described by his partner, Leanne Harvey, as a “fit young man”, sparking speculations as to whether he had preexisting issues with addiction, or if the pills themselves were so powerful that they create dependency.
Now, South Manchester’s assistant coroner, Rachel Galloway, is calling for a limit on the sale of Imodium, despite its use by “millions of people in Britain.”
“The concern is that there is no apparent limit on the amount of loperamide medication that can be purchased from a single store,” said Galloway.
Aaron’s death was actually very unusual for medical staff at the hospital that received him, who struggled at first to determine the best treatment approach.
“It was really scary,” said Miss Harvey, “because in the beginning they didn’t know how to treat him. They had to contact another hospital to ask how to.”
“For us it was scary because they said they hand’t seen anything like it and we didn’t know what was going to happen to him.”
“This was a total shock to everyone when this happened, and of how it happened.”
By the time the ordeal was over, Miss Harvey says Aaron endured 4 more cardiac arrests.
MHRA regulators released a statement on the matter:
“Over-the-counter medicines are safe and effective when used in accordance with instructions on the label and in the patient information leaflet.
“There is a risk, however, with any medicine that people may deliberately or inadvertently misuse the product.”
Imodium contains the active ingredient “loperamide”, which is officially used by some drug companies for the explicit purpose of relieving symptoms of diarrhea.
However, when taken in high dosages, it is speculated to cause euphoria, making it attractive to avid drug users.
Loperamide is excess amounts can be extremely toxic to the heart, which may explain Aaron’s numerous cardiac arrests.