What Is Pentazocine?

Pentazocine originally became available as a prescription drug more than fifty years ago. When pentazocine was first introduced, it was viewed as safe and non-habit-forming. It was used as a substitute for morphine, and doctors often felt like it was a miracle drug to treat chronic pain without people becoming addicted to narcotics. However, shortly after pentazocine was introduced, it became more apparent that it was habit-forming, and it was a drug of misuse. There was such as growing addiction problem associated with the use of pentazocine that brand names were reformulated to include the opioid antagonist naloxone. While pentazocine activates opioid receptors, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids. When someone uses pentazocine as prescribed, the naloxone shouldn’t be effective. If someone tries to disrupt the medication by breaking or crushing it, which is common with recreational drug misuse, the naloxone may block the opioid effects of the pentazocine. Despite the drug-deterring feature of pentazocine, it is still considered to have a potential for misuse and a warning comes with it.

Symptoms Of Pentazocine Abuse

The symptoms of pentazocine misuse are similar to what might be noticeable with the misuse of other prescription opioids. If someone is using pentazocine any way outside of how it’s intended and prescribed to be used, it can be a symptom of misuse. For example, symptoms of pentazocine misuse can include crushing or breaking the pill to inhale the powder or to dissolve it into a liquid and inject it into the veins. Taking pentazocine without a prescription is considered misuse, as is taking a larger dose than instructed or taking it more often than prescribed. Physical or outward symptoms of pentazocine misuse can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation or sweating.

Side Effects Of Pentazocine Abuse

The longer someone misuses pentazocine or other opioid drugs, the more likely they are to become addicted and dependent. Addiction is a chronic disease that affects how both the brain and the body function. Addiction can cause far-reaching side effects and damage relationships, families and careers. Dependence is primarily a physical scenario where someone’s brain and body have become dependent on the effects of a drug like pentazocine. If someone stops using a drug they’re dependent on, they may experience withdrawal symptoms. Other side effects of pentazocine misuse can include drowsiness or fatigue, impaired judgment, severe constipation, seizures, severe weakness and loss of appetite.

Pentazocine Addiction

Pentazocine misuse is different from addiction. Addiction can be diagnosed, and it can be treated. Some of the following are signs and symptoms a person may be struggling with a pentazocine addiction:

  • Tolerance and dependence
  • Out-of-control use of pentazocine
  • Drug-seeking behaviors
  • Continuing to use pentazocine despite negative effects on health
  • Sacrificing in other areas of life such as socially or recreationally to continue using pentazocine
  • Focusing on maintaining a supply of pentazocine
  • Using pentazocine to deal with problems
  • Secrecy
  • Denial
  • Risk-taking to get more pentazocine or while using it
  • Using large doses
  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems
  • Problems with relationships

Pentazocine Long-Term Effects

When someone is a long-term patient of a prescription opioid like pentazocine, there can be serious effects on their body, their brain and their life. While addiction is one of the most common long-term pentazocine effects, others are possible as well. Some potential pentazocine long-term effects can include:

  • Impotence, infertility and sexual problems
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Complications from chronic constipation
  • Other gastrointestinal complications
  • Breathing problems including sleep-related breathing issues
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular issues like heart failure and myocardial infarction
  • Various hormonal problems
  • New or worsening psychological disorders such as depression
  • Increased pain sensitivity

Addiction is a complex, powerful and all-encompassing disease. It’s our mission to help people get to the point of sustainable recovery, so contact The Recovery Village any time to learn more or get information for a loved one.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.