Difenoxin and Atropine Combination (Oral)

Meta: The difenoxin and atropine combination (Motofen) is a prescription medication that relieves severe diarrhea symptoms for adults.

The difenoxin and atropine combination is a prescription medication that treats diarrhea.


The difenoxin and atropine combination medication is combined with other methods to effectively remedy severe diarrhea for adults. Difenoxin aids diarrhea symptoms by reducing how fast the intestines digest and process food.

This medication could be potentially habit-forming in circumstances where patients take more than they have been directed. Patients must take caution. Due to this possibility, an anticholinergic (atropine) is included in this medication. If patients take a dose that is greater than prescribed, the atropine will trigger undesirable side effects, which will increase the likelihood that the patient will not take a larger dose again.

Children must not take the difenoxin and atropine combination. Children who have extreme cases of diarrhea should take electrolytes and carbohydrates (necessary salts and sugars) to take the place of the salts and water that is lost when the body goes through diarrhea. Consult with your physician to determine other remedies for diarrhea for children.

This medication can only be prescribed after a doctor sees a patient and is manufactured in tablet form. It is currently manufactured under the US brand name Motofen.

Conditions treated

  • Severe diarrhea

Type of medicine

  • Antiperistaltic anti-diarrheal medication

Side Effects

In addition to the many benefits that the difenoxin and atropine combination provides, it can also trigger side effects that may not be the most desirable. While it is not typical for each one of the following side effects to take place, it is a possibility that they could warrant medical care if any of these side effects do arise.

The following list of side effects may take place but typically will not require medical care. As your body becomes more familiar with this medication, the side effects will likely diminish as treatment progresses. Your doctor will be able to inform you of methods to diminish or prevent undesirable side effects. Be sure to ask your doctor what the best course of action to take is if side effects become bothersome, continue, or if any questions arise.

Less Common or Rare Side effects (Medical Care Not Required)

  • Vision blurry
  • Confusion
  • Urination difficulty
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dryness of mouth and skin
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weakness or tiredness (more than usual)

After finished taking this medication, there is a likelihood that it could continue to cause additional side effects that may require the attention of medical care professionals. If other side effects are noticed, please consult with your medical care professional right away.

Your physician should be able to answer any queries regarding side effects. The FDA also accepts reports on side effects if they take place and are not included here, reports can be submitted by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


Your doctor will likely suggest that you take this medication with food if it tends to aggravate your stomach.

Only take the difenoxin and atropine combination as your physician directs. Never take an amount that is greater than your doctor prescribed. This medication should not be taken more frequently than directed by your doctor. Patients must only take this medication for the length of time prescribed by the doctor, and not for a longer duration. Patients must take caution when following dosage instructions, as the difenoxin and atropine combination can be habit-forming if patients take too much at once.

Different patients will receive different doses of this medication, depending on the individual medical need for the medication. Always follow the instructions given by your physician or the instructions on the medication container label. The information listed below only covers the typical doses of the difenoxin and atropine combination. Do not adjust your dose without prior approval from your physician, even if it varies from the information below.

The total amount of medication you are prescribed will vary and depends on how strong the medication is. The number of prescribed doses to be taken per day in addition to the how much time is allotted between doses will impact your dose. Also, the medical issue for which you need the medication will impact the dose you are given.


For treatment of severe diarrhea

  • Adults and teenagers - Initially, the beginning dose for this medication is typically 2 milligrams (mg). Once the initial dose has been taken, the patient should take 1 mg upon occurrence of a loose stool as necessary, about every three to four hours. Never take a dose greater than 8 mg in any single day (24 hours).
  • Children - See your doctor for dosage information or alternative remedies, as it is typically not recommended for children to take this medication.

Missed Dose

If a dose of this medication is accidentally missed, it should be taken as soon as the patient recognizes that it was skipped. Alternatively, if it is nearer in the schedule for the next dose, the skipped dose can remain missed and the patient may return to the original dosing schedule. This is important because patients should never double dose.


There are many types of interactions that can occur when taking medications; including interactions with medications, medical issues, and other types of potentially dangerous interactions.

Medication Interactions

While some medications never should be taken simultaneously, in other circumstances it may be permissible to combine various medications, even if there is a possibility of an interaction occurring. Under these circumstances, your physician may decide to change your dose, but they may also take other necessary precautions for your protection. While taking the difenoxin and atropine combination, it is imperative that your medical care professional is knowledgeable about certain prescriptions you are currently taking. If patients are already on any of the medications below, they should inform their physician right away. These medications are important to be wary of as they have a potentially significant interaction with the difenoxin and atropine combination. The following list of interactions is not entirely all-inclusive.

It is typically not suggested to take difenoxin and atropine combination at the same time as one or more of the medications below. Your physician may switch you to a different medicine or may adjust the other medications you are taking.

  • Potassium
  • Naltrexone
  • Ambenonium

It is normally not recommended to take difenoxin and atropine combination simultaneously with any of the medications below, however, certain unique circumstances may warrant the combination. If your physician decides to prescribe both medications at the same time, they may reduce the frequency or dosage amount for one or more of the medications.

  • Zolpidem
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Tramadol
  • Tiotropium
  • Tapentadol
  • Sufentanil
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Selegiline
  • Safinamide
  • Remifentanil
  • Rasagiline
  • Procarbazine
  • Phenelzine
  • Periciazine
  • Pentazocine
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Morphine
  • Moclobemide
  • Methylene Blue
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine
  • Meclizine
  • Lorazepam
  • Linezolid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Iproniazid
  • Hydrocodone
  • Furazolidone
  • Flibanserin
  • Fentanyl
  • Doxylamine
  • Donepezil
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Codeine
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Butorphanol
  • Bupropion
  • Buprenorphine
  • Bromopride
  • Bromazepam

Patients who are taking the difenoxin and atropine combination with the medication below could experience a heightened risk of some side effects. The combination of both medications could be the best way to treat your unique circumstance, however. If your physician prescribed both medications at once, they may adjust the dosage information or frequency for either medication.

  • Arbutamine

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near times when the patient is eating or drinking, due to the increased possibility of interactions taking place. The use of tobacco or alcohol can make an impact on the effects of the difenoxin and atropine combination and can trigger interactions. Be sure to discuss with your physician how this medication may interact with tobacco, alcohol, or food.

Other Medical Issues

Patients may experience interactions even with unrelated (or related) medical issues. Inform your physician if you have (or have had) other kinds of medical issues, including:

  • Drug abuse (including drug mishandling history)
  • Alcohol abuse (including past alcohol abuse)
  • Colitis (serious) take caution; severe colon issues can occur if this medication is taken
  • Down's syndrome (patients may experience side effects that are more intensified and serious)
  • Dysentery (condition could become worse; patients may need to pursue different avenues of treatment)
  • Lung diseases (chronic, including bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema; this medication has a greater likelihood of causing breathing issues)
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Urination difficulties, or blockage of the urinary tract (issues with urination could take place if this medication is used)
  • Gallstones or gallbladder disease (this medication could trigger the biliary tract to undergo spasms, and conditions could be made worse)
  • com/health/coma/">Glaucoma (serious eye pain can take place if this medication is used, although there is a low likelihood of this)
  • Heart disease (this medication can impact the heart, and could make conditions worse)
  • Hiatal hernia (this medication contains atropine which could make conditions worse, although there is a low chance of this taking place)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure; atropine in this medication can make the blood pressure spike, although there is a low chance of this taking place)
  • Intestinal blockage (conditions can be made worse if this medication is taken)
  • Kidney disease (atropine in this medication can build up over time and can trigger side effects)
  • Liver disease (side effects within central nervous system can be increased, specifically coma)
  • Myasthenia gravis (conditions can be made worse)
  • Thyroid activity variations (underactive or overactive; heart rate and breathing may experience unwanted effects)
  • Incontinence overflow (this medication can aggravate conditions and make them worse)


Maintaining fluid intake and diet is essential when treating diarrhea. Patients should take note of the following recommendations for maintaining adequate fluid levels:

  • Along with taking medication for diarrhea, patients must follow a nutritional diet and need to always replace any fluid that the body loses.
  • Gelatin and caffeine-free liquids that are clear (for instance, ginger ale, decaf tea, decaf cola, or broth) should be consumed over the course of the initial 24 hours. Bland foods (for instance, crackers, cooked cereal, bread, or applesauce) may also provide relief. Foods that could intensify the diarrhea are spicy foods, fried foods, candy, fruits, bran, vegetables, alcoholic beverages, and caffeine.
  • It is important to understand that if the body loses excessive fluid, a severe condition could develop.

Consult with your physician right away if you observe signs of excessive fluid loss:

  • Urination decrease
  • Thirst increase
  • Skin wrinkling
  • Mouth dryness
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness

Your physician must carefully monitor your progress if you are planning on taking this medication regularly for an extended period of time. Be sure that you keep and attend all appointments.

If diarrhea does not subside after two days of taking this medication or if you have a fever, consult with your physician.

This medication can negatively impact alcohol and effects of CNS depressants (medications that slow the nervous system down, triggering drowsiness). CNS depressants include medication for seizures; anesthetics, counting dental anesthetics; prescription pain relief medications or narcotics; muscle relaxants; medication to treat hay fever, colds, allergies, or other antihistamines; tranquilizers, sleeping medications, or sedatives; or barbiturates. Ask your doctor prior to taking the above types of drugs while taking the difenoxin and atropine combination.

If overdose is suspected (either yourself or another person in your home), seek emergency treatment immediately. Death or unconsciousness are extreme results of overdose. Overdose signs include quick heartbeat; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; intense drowsiness; dryness, flushing, or unusual warmth to the skin.

Prior to undergoing any type of emergency care or surgery (counting dental surgery), inform the physician or dentist that you are currently taking difenoxin and atropine combination.

Some patients experience drowsiness, dizziness, or an overall lower amount of alertness than they typically have after taking this medication. Even if the dose is given at bedtime, certain people experience additional drowsiness or reduced alertness upon waking up. Ensure that you are familiar with the way your body reacts to this medication prior to driving, operating machinery, or completing any other tasks that could be considered harmful if you are not fully alert or dizzy.

Additional Warnings

When planning whether or not one should take the difenoxin and atropine combination, they should compare the potential risks of this medication against the benefits that it may provide. This choice needs to be made with your physician. Consider the following prior to taking this medication if you have allergies, are pregnant or elderly, or are considering use for a child patient.


Inform your physician if you currently have or have experienced allergic or atypical reactions to this or any additional medications. Be sure to also inform your medical care professional of other kinds of allergies you may have, including to animals, preservatives, dyes, or food. For products that are non-prescription, ensure you always carefully read the ingredients on the package label.


Children should not take the difenoxin and atropine combination. Children (even more so when they are extremely young) are additionally sensitive to the atropine and difenoxin effects. This could increase the likelihood side effects occurring over the course of treatment. Also, it is more dangerous for children to lose a lot of fluid. Children must be given ample liquid to recover the fluid their body lost through diarrhea. For questions regarding this information, consult with your doctor.


Trouble breathing or loss of breath could occur more often in patients who are elderly. Elderly patients are typically even more sensitive to effects than adults who are younger. In addition, a severe condition can be caused by the fluid loss that diarrhea causes. Elderly patients must not take this medication prior to consulting with their physician. Elderly patients must take additional care in replenishing the lost fluids from their body. Ask your physician if you have any questions regarding this information.


It is not completely clear whether or not the difenoxin and atropine combination is safe and effective for pregnant women to take. Animal findings have demonstrated a negative effect and no human studies have been conducted; or, there have been no animal or human studies on this matter.


There is not enough adequate research to determine potential infant risk when the mother is breastfeeding and taking this medication. Women should compare the potential benefits of this medication against the possible risks, prior to taking the difenoxin and atropine combination during breastfeeding.


The difenoxin and atropine combination should be stored far from moisture, heat, direct light, and freezing temperatures. Always keep at room temperature. Do not store in an area where children can easily reach the container. Dispose of any medication that is no longer required or that is outdated.


The difenoxin and atropine combination medication can successfully treat severe diarrhea for adults. Difenoxin relieves symptoms of diarrhea by decreasing the speed and digestion process for the intestines. Patients should use caution, as this medication can be habit-forming.