FROM OUR EXPERTS
We've known for a long time that if you're going to stop taking opioids, it's usually best to taper off gradually to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. But now, there's another very good reason not to abruptly stop taking opioid medications – it can actually increase your sensitivity to pain. A recent study conducted by the Department of Neurophysiology at the Center for Brain Research at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria has found that the sudden withdrawal of opioids leads to the long-term activation of pain impulses being sent to the brain. It creates a kind of memory trace in the pain system. They knew that sustained pain can set up a cycle of increased pain sensitivity, but the researchers were surprised to discover that the abrupt withdrawal of opioids does something very similar by increasing the concentration of calcium ions in the nerve cells of the spinal cord. On the positive side, the research team also discovered that i...
The goals of treatment are to reduce the immediate withdrawal symptoms, prevent complications, and begin long-term therapy to promote abstinence (no drinking at all).
People with moderate-to-severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may need inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility that treats alcohol withdrawal. Others who may need inpatient treatment include those who:
Have a mental health disorder, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
Have failed outpatient treatment for alcoholism or alcohol withdrawal
Have serious medical problems
May be harmful to themselves or others
Treatment at an inpatient center will include medical monitoring and treatment of alcohol symptoms.
Monitoring of blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and blood levels of different chemicals in the body will take place. The person will be watched closely for hallucinations and other signs of delirium tremens .
How long does withdrawal from Zoloft take, and are there any serious side effects that will damage the brain? As far as we know, SSRI withdrawal does not cause permanent damage. But it feels like a bad flu, so it's not fun. The withdrawal is based on two factors: the half-life of the drug and the "potency" of the drug. The short half-life drugs such as Paxil tend to produce worse withdrawal than longer half-life drugs, such as Prozac. Many psychiatrists take advantage of the long half-life of Prozac and prescribe a single dose to treat withdrawal from the other SSRIs. Importantly, there is cross-coverage from other drugs. Stopping Paxil cold will produce withdrawal, but switching Paxil to Zoloft, for example, should protect you from it. In addition, this withdrawal effect is (mostly) limited to serotonergic antidepressants. Wellbutrin is not expected to have this effect.
You should know
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