45 children were admitted to hospital after ingesting varying quantities of diphenoxylate (Lomotil). One died and 44 recovered without any sequelae. Four patients were comatose, 32 were drowsy, and 9 suffered respiratory depression. No correlation was found between ingested dose and the severity of symptoms. Because of its action in rendering the gut atonic, removal of diphenoxylate by gastric lavage is mandatory, even in patients admitted at least 24 hours after drug ingestion. Naloxone is the narcotic antagonist of choice, and should be used in all cases where suspected diphenoxylate poisoning leads to respiratory depression or coma. The use of Lomotil as an antidiarrhoeal agent in children is difficult to justify.
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