Arjun Patel, 29, died last November in his suburban Pittsburgh home, according to the Tribune-Review. And officials say his death was caused by too much of an over-the-counter medication aimed at treating diarrhea.
The medical examiner’s office this week ruled Patel’s cause of death as loperamide poisoning, the newspaper said. Officials said it was the first death of its kind in the region, Action News 4 reported.
Loperamide, the active ingredient in anti-diarrhea medications such as Imodium A-D, is sometimes called the “poor man’s methadone,” The Washington Post reported.
That’s because high doses of the drug can induce a mild high and soothe withdrawal symptoms for drugs such as morphine or heroin, the newspaper said in January. As a result, people who suffer from addiction have resorted to the drug as it becomes more difficult to get prescription opioids.