Signs, Symptoms, and Side Effects of Talwin Abuse

Talwin is a medication prescribed to help patients manage their moderate to severe pain. Unlike other opioids, Talwin consists of an opioid analgesic (narcotic) and an opioid antagonist, making it non-addictive.

The combination medications in Talwin are pentazocine and naloxone. Pentazocine is the pain-relieving agent that alters how the brain responds to pain, thereby increasing the threshold to pain. Naloxone is a type of medication that treats opioid overdose and withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is the reason Talwin is not typically addicting.

Unfortunately, people have found ways to bypass the effects of naloxone to produce a euphoric effect. This can be done by mixing the crushed substance with other medications and injecting it.

As mentioned, Talwin is a prescription strength medication provided to people suffering from moderate to severe pain. Talwin is one of the only narcotics that is not habit-forming because it contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Naloxone lowers the risk for addiction so people may comfortably take the medication without needing to worry about substance misuse.

Talwin is available as an oral tablet, and it should never be administered via injection or crushed and snorted. Talwin should not be taken with alcohol or other medications. Speak with a doctor about current or past medications before starting a Talwin prescription.

Common side effects of Talwin include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

More serious side effects of Talwin are rare but have occurred. Contact a doctor before continuing your Talwin treatment if the following side effects occur:

  • Weak breaths (shallow breathing)
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Severe weakness
  • Swelling of the face or tongue
  • Blurred vision

If any serious side effects worsen, seek medical attention.

Talwin by itself has a small chance of addiction. Sadly, the effects of naloxone become obsolete if Talwin is crushed and injected with other medications, more specifically, antihistamines. The mixture produces a feeling like heroin, which makes Talwin a popular street drug because it is much cheaper than heroin.

If someone taking Talwin develops an addiction, they begin experiencing irresistible urges to take the opioid. One of the most common signs of narcotic addiction is the inability to control these cravings, which causes a person to take the drug more frequently and in higher doses. Sometimes opioid addictions can cause someone to continually take the substance even when it causes problems in their life, like financial issues, legal issues, or family problems.

Talwin misuse may cause several long-term physical and mental problems. Mixing substances with opioids can cause respiratory depression, a condition in which a person’s breathing slows to a point that could cause a fatal overdose or a coma. Respiratory depression has been known to cause brain damage if it is not treated immediately.

At The Recovery Village, our inpatient rehabilitation programs teach patients how to cope with the stresses that lead to recurring substance use. Our goal is to help you or your loved one live a substance-free life.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.