Taking Charcoal With Lomotil

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is an interaction between Lomotil and charcoal supplements.

Apr 09, 2018

kylie asked

Does charcoal have interaction with Lomotil, also known as Dhamotil (atropine sulfate, diphenoxylate HCL)?


There is no direct drug interaction between Lomotil (atropine sulfate/diphenoxylate HCl), also known as Dhamotil and charcoal. However, taking them together may defeat the purpose of Lomotil, which is used to treat diarrhea, because diarrhea is a common side effect of charcoal.

In addition, there is some concern that charcoal can inhibit or greatly reduce the absorption of other oral medications when taken at the same time. A general recommendation regarding charcoal supplementation is to separate it from other oral medications by at least 30 to 60 minutes.


Charcoal, also known as activated charcoal, is not absorbed by the body and only acts in your digestive system before being excreted in your feces. When taken in tablet or capsule form, it is commonly used as a digestive aid. Charcoal is also used as an antidote, or reversal agent, for the management of poisonings since it absorbs some drugs and chemicals.


Lomotil, also known as Dhamotil (atropine sulfate/diphenoxylate HCl), is used for the short-term treatment of diarrhea. Lomotil should relieve diarrhea within 48 hours and should not be used longer than 10 days. If you are still having symptoms after 10 days of using Lomotil, contact your doctor as there is likely an underlying cause of your diarrhea (for example, an infection) that must be treated in some other way.

Lomotil is well absorbed in your digestive system and gets broken down by your liver into its active components before it exhibits its effects. It leaves your body in your feces, similar to charcoal, but after its extensive metabolism by the liver.

Taking Charcoal With Lomotil

While there is no direct drug interaction, a common side effect of charcoal includes diarrhea. Since Lomotil is used to treat diarrhea, the addition of charcoal could make diarrhea even worse.

In addition, taking charcoal at the same time as Lomotil can potentially decrease the absorption of Lomotil, which could lessen the effects of the drug. In most situations, charcoal should be separated from other oral medications.

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