Pentazocine is a generic drug that’s combined in formulations with naloxone. Pentazocine activates opioid receptors and can provide relief for pain ranging from moderate to severe in intensity. Pentazocine is available in brand-name drugs like Talwin Nx. The objective of pentazocine along with pain relief is to deter people from recreationally misusing the drug since pentazocine is an opioid activator. For a long time, pentazocine wasn’t formulated with naloxone, and it was highly misused among prescription drugs. Now, the naloxone can block the euphoric effects of the pentazocine if someone tries to misuse it by crushing it or breaking the tablets to snort or inject them. Even though pentazocine has naloxone, patients are still warned that it can cause addiction and dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in one of two ways. First, people who are dependent on the drug after using it for a period of time may go through withdrawal if they try to stop using it suddenly. Another scenario is sudden withdrawal, brought on by the inclusion of the naloxone in this medication. When someone misuses pentazocine and the naloxone is activated, if they are opioid-dependent they may have sudden withdrawal symptoms. Regardless of the specific situations, common pentazocine withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches
- Tearing of the eyes
- Insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Runny nose
- Flu-like symptoms
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
With regular pentazocine withdrawal, symptoms usually begin anywhere from six to 12 hours after the last dose is used. Pentazocine withdrawal can range from mild to severe, based on factors such as how long someone was dependent on opioids. The early withdrawal symptoms that appear include tearing up, muscle aches and pains, agitation, insomnia and anxiety. Also possible are raised blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. Peak pentazocine withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 72 hours, and within a week most pentazocine withdrawal symptoms will start to subside in severity and occurrence. Some people may experience ongoing pentazocine withdrawal symptoms for weeks or months, such as anxiety or depression. With precipitated withdrawal, which can occur if the naloxone in pentazocine formulations is activated, symptoms can last for several hours.
When managing symptoms of pentazocine withdrawal, patients are advised first and foremost to seek medical guidance. Withdrawal from an opioid like pentazocine won’t likely be deadly for the majority of people, but complications like dehydration can occur. A medical professional can provide a schedule for people to taper down their dosage of pentazocine slowly to avoid the risk of more severe withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes people may be given medications to manage symptoms of pentazocine withdrawal. Regardless of the specific steps taken, the worst thing to do with an opioid is to stop cold turkey without following medical advice. This is going to cause the most uncomfortable, severe and long-lasting withdrawal symptoms, and it will be difficult for most people to manage on their own.
When someone is dependent on an opioid drug like pentazocine, they might benefit from a medical detox. Medical detox is a situation where people go to a facility for detox that includes around-the-clock medical care and attention. During a medical detox, not only can people safely stop using pentazocine and any other substances they may be dependent on, but they can receive certain medications. There are medications specifically approved for use during opioid withdrawal, including methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. Methadone and buprenorphine are opioid maintenance treatments, and they act similarly to other opioids, but more mildly. Naltrexone can block the effects of opioids if someone reuses the drug and can help reduce cravings. Along with medications specifically approved to be used during opioid withdrawal, other medicines can be given during withdrawal also. For example, symptoms such as insomnia, cramping or diarrhea might be treated with various prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
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.