Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal - Page 3

By Sherry Baker @SherryNewsViews
November 02, 2017
Woman vomiting into toilet --- Image by © Corbis

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal

Whether you are dependent or addicted to an opioid medication,  abruptly cutting back on dosage or stopping an opioid suddenly typically causes withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the specific drug and amount you have been taking chronically.

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include:

  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Goose bumps
  • Involuntary leg movements
  • Unease or dissatisfaction
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose

Doctors treating opioid withdrawal symptoms in adults often use the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) to diagnose the severity of withdrawal. In addition to the symptoms described above, the 11-item scale also takes into account resting pulse rate, tremor, and pupil size.

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal usually begin with an acute phase marked especially by anxiety and agitation, difficulty sleeping, and fluctuating body temperature. Then a second phase of chronic opioid withdrawal symptoms can continue for weeks. 


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April 02, 2020

Reviewed By:  

Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA