Lofexidine, better known under the brand names Lucemyra, Librium, and others, is a drug traditionally used to treat hypertension, but more commonly utilized to aid with the psychological symptoms of post-operative or acute withdrawal from certain narcotics, including alcohol and heroin. It’s taken orally. It’s an alpha-2A adrenergic receptor blocker. What this means is that it works to block the action of norepinephrine and its derivatives (adenosine triphosphate), which are responsible for the feeling of pleasure and the “high” associated with narcotics.
One of the most common side effects of lofexidine is that patients report experiencing nausea and vomiting. This is usually temporary, however, and usually occurs within the first few hours of taking the medication. So how do you take lofexidine? Without food and with water, you’ll be able to take lofexidine as usual in the morning with a glass of milk or water.
Like other opioids, lofexidine can cause serious side effects, especially when taken without food and with water. Some patients have reported experiencing chest pain, diarrhea, and increased heart rate after taking lofexidine. It may cause constipation, as well. There is also a risk of hypothermia, especially if the dose is reduced suddenly. As with any medication, lofexidine can cause dependence.
When taking lofexidine for low blood pressure, you should avoid getting dehydrated. For some reason, some people seem more sensitive to low blood pressure than others. If you become dehydrated while on lofexidine for treatment, you may experience vomiting, severe diarrhea, increased heart rate, and unconsciousness. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to stay well hydrated by drinking large amounts of water. It’s also a good idea to eat small, frequent meals to ensure that you don’t become too hungry while taking lofexidine.
Another serious side effect of lofexidine is that it can result in respiratory depression. Some patients report experiencing uncontrollable coughing and pneumonia while on lofexidine for opioid use. To avoid this symptom, patients are advised to go into the hospital and receive intravenous fluids before starting lofexidine. There have been reports of kidney failure, especially in patients taking lofexidine for longer periods of time. Long-term lofexidine use can result in symptoms similar to those caused by chemotherapy, such as vomiting, fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.
As mentioned above, patients must be very careful when using lofexidine for long periods of time. Taking lofexidine for an extended period of time can result in severe adverse effects, such as a slow heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased blood pressure. If these symptoms occur, call 911 or immediately get medical attention. Lofexidine can be administered only after consulting your doctor or nurse practitioner. He or she can advise you on the correct dosage to take, which will counteract the potential side effects of lofexidine.
Lofexidine can cause serious withdrawal symptoms in some people. Patients must be very careful when suddenly stopping lofexidine. It’s best to discontinue taking lofexidine gradually, over several days, instead of suddenly stopping all at once. If you’ve stopped taking lofexidine and begin to experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should contact your doctor or nurse practitioner as soon as possible. He or she will advise you on the best course of action to combat the potential side effects of lofexidine.
Lofexidine is commonly used for treating acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, indigestion, heartburn, and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Although lofexidine seems fairly harmless, you should still be careful if you’re taking lofexidine and if you suspect that you might be at risk for any of the lofexidine side effects described above. Ask your pharmacist for more information about lofexidine side effects and for a list of lofexidine side effects when taken in combination with other medicines. If you believe that you are at risk for one or more lofexidine side effects, talk to your doctor immediately. There may be a serious condition causing the side effect, such as high blood pressure or a serotonin deficiency.