Opium Tincture Availability


I am a colon cancer survivor. Due to losing 9" of large intestines and all but 1" of rectum, I experience severe diarrhea and resulting horrendous rectal pain. My oncologist prescribed Tincture of Opium. As the name implies, this is serious medicine. I nursed my first prescription so it lasted four years (Feb. 2006 to Feb. 2010), second prescription three years (Feb. 2010 to June 2013). When I picked up third prescription and got home with it, it did not look the same and the name was different, "C-Morphine 10 MG/1ML SUSP AKA-Opium Tincture #118". So silly me, I thought it was a generic. The first time I had an episode of diarrhea and the accompanying rectal pain, I was bedridden for hours before the pain eased off to an endurable ache. My Tincture usually worked within 45 minutes. I called the pharmacist to find out what was going on. He said you can't get Tincture of Opium any more and what he "made" for me from ingredients was the closest he could come. When I told him how ineffective it was, he could only direct me back to my doctor for a larger dose. My doctor was at a loss and told me to use what I needed. Over double the dosage and still no relief. I have spent days and hours researching the internet and still no source for what I NEED to have any quality of life. What is the use of surviving if my own government causes my medicine with its years of successful use to be denied to me? That same government allows "new" medicine that has made it through their truckload of bureaucracy (graft) to be uploaded to the public with so many side effects that the obligatory list lasts longer than most tv commercials.

I have read about the success of getting Paregoric back. Is there any grassroots effort to get Tincture of Opium back?

12 Replies

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Hi, Judy! I am very sorry about what you're going through and the painful misery you have to endure.

The problem with these medications is that they never underwent the approval process, so their safety and efficacy has never been proven. The FDA directed the companies to remove them from the market, until they underwent this process, but most of them sell so little now, that it's just not cost effective for the companies to do this.

Have you tried anything else, such as the Fentanyl patch?

it's a very strong narcotic, so it may help you.

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Thanks for your info. I will speak with my doctor, but looking this up in Wikipedia, I found numerous adverse side effects including diarrhea and shortness of breath. This is not encouraging. I already have severe diarrhea (the cause of my acute pain) and already have shortness of breath, recently diagnosed as congestive heart failure most likely caused to 12 months of chemo. I do not understand the need to laminate a bureaucratic testing etc. to drugs like Tincture of Opium, Laudanum, and paregoric and thereby deny its benefits to those who need it even if we are a small percentage of the populace. I am a sixty eight year old woman, who was given these across the counter drugs for stomach distress, teething and toothaches. I, in turn, gave them to my babies. How much safer can generations of use make it? As info, my first prescription cost me over $200. How is that not profitable for someone? I feel like many others - that I may have survived cancer but may not survive my government (FDA) and drug cartels masquerading as drug manufacturers, those are the real terminal illnesses.

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Judy if you have a CVS Pharmacy they will get Opium Tincture for you. I live in Southern Illinois and can get it there. Hope this helps.

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I am also a colon cancer survivor who has been taking 6ml of tincture of opium daily for 11 years. While I've tolerated it well and it's allowed me to live "normally", I know how physically dependent I've become on the drug. I am in the process of weaning myself and will be off the drug by the end of the year. That said, I have not had trouble getting the prescription filled. The manufacturer is Edenbridge.

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MUST TRY HOMEOPATHY FOR A YEAR at least. Homeopathic remedies are very difficult to associate/find for an individual hence
people discontinue it after some time as they get no relief but if one stick it out he/she will get long term cure/relief (and their remedies) without any side effect. Also make sure the homeopath has at least 10 years of experience behind him and practices classical homeopathy. May god help you get relief from your misery.

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I am also a cancer survivor. Were you ever able to find tincture of opium or paregoric? With only part of lg & sm intestines, now bedridden since fda laws have changed. I'm 62, so not worried about long term effects, just want to function at least a little, spend precious quality time w/ my daughter & granddaughter, and the little things in daily life most take for granted. I hope you finally found the med you need. Ether way, I'd love to hear how you're doing. I hope & pray the best for you!

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Dear Judy,

Have you been able to get the med that works for you? Our conditions are very similar. Gastro docs say opium tincture often helps when all else has failed, but say it's hard to find. Their office couldn't find it locally (s.a. tx). I hope you have finally something to help have at least a little quality of life...if so, would you share this info please? Thank you in advance!

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My Husband has been taking Opium Tincture for over 15 years because he had an intestinal transplant and suffers from severe diarrhea and its been covered on our insurance plan every month for a $12 copay this year we went to get his medication and we were told it's not being covered and it'll cost $1800.00 a month. Now the journey begins dealing with appeals to the insurance co. Has anyone else had this problem?

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When I get my prescription of opium tincture (monthly) it is very dark colored. Within 2 weeks of use, about 1/2 of the bottle is very diluted and almost clear. Anyone else have this problem and what can be done about it? It is stored in a medical safe that's dark and dry.

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I have an ileostomy and no colon. I am aware that they stopped manufacturing this 450mL of Opium Tincture in December 2019. I have been taking it for years, and it was a sure way to stop diarrhea. I only used it at lunch and at bedtime. Does anyone have any idea when or if it will be manufactured again?

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I completely understand your frustration. I have an ileostomy and no colon. I used Opium Tincture Paregoric for four years. It stopped diarrhea instantly. I was now given Codeine Acetaminophen, which has not been very effective at all. I have contacted McKesson and Akorn, who used to manufacture it. They have no re-start date. I have also checked with Accredo Specialty pharmacy, and they said the manufacturing of the Opium Tincture had been stopped 12/24/2019. It doesn't say it has been discontinued, just unavailable. They provide medical marijuana, and have gone so far as to legalize it for recreational use. What about the poor people like ourselves who want a drug that helps us and gives us some quality of life? We don't count. I'll bet if we didn't pay our taxes for a while, they would pay attention to us.

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Re: Jen (# 8) Expand Referenced Message

What pharmacy are you able to receive Opium Tincture? I have not been able to find a pharmacy that carries it anymore since it stopped being manufactured 12/24/19.

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