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ReVIDA® Recovery Details Why Opiates Cause Itching

Morristown, TN - ReVIDA® Recovery released a recent publication in their blog series detailing why opiates cause itching. They are a local opioid use disorder rehab facility and offer outpatient treatment as well as medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

“You may have heard of opioids, but maybe not heard of opiates. Essentially, both are the same class of substance. All opioids are derived from the opium poppy plant. Opiates are considered natural as they still contain plant properties. Common opiates include morphine, codeine, and opium. Opioids are partially or fully synthesized, meaning they contain little to no plant properties. Fentanyl is a prime example of an opioid. The term opioid can be used to describe opiates, but not the other way around,” the article states.

A side effect of opiate use is itching, no matter if the use is medical or recreational. The symptom stems from blood vessels dilating, causing flushing to the face, neck, and chest. This results in the body releasing histamine, which can be the result of an allergic reaction. The body begins to sweat and feel itchy. Not all opiate use itching is caused by an allergic reaction, and it can happen to anyone.

Pruritus is the medical term for itching. Opiates affect the brain directly by attaching to opioid receptors. These receptors cause a disturbance in the central nervous system and how certain nerves react. Opiates cause the spinal itch nerve to activate, resulting in opiate-induced pruritus. The condition is not permanent and will stop as the medication leaves the system. Pruritus is not localized and can change where the sensation is located. The person may experience pruritus on the scalp one day and on the leg the next.

“If you have recently been prescribed an opiate medication, you may notice you are more itchy than normal. Talk to your doctor to see what can be done or if you need to switch medications. If breathing problems ever accompany itching, seek medical attention immediately as you may be allergic to the opiate.

"Those who use substances recreationally are prone to opiate-induced itching. Those who use opiates illicitly are commonly injecting them. These wounds can become infected, increasing itching. The problem is that itching wounds often opens them back up, making it more difficult for them to heal. Paired with a weakened immune system, these wounds can become toxic quickly, and cause life-threatening infections,” the article continues.

The best way to prevent opiate-induced itching is to refrain from taking them. For those using opiates illicitly, seeking treatment for a possible opiate use disorder is the best way to stop the itching. When taking it medically, the person can talk with their doctor about unpleasant side effects such as itching. Doctors can work to prescribe a different medication or adjust the dose to help alleviate uncomfortable itching. In some cases, allergy medication can help reduce itching, but it may not work for everyone.

ReVIDA® Recovery has been working in the Appalachian communities and helping people reclaim their lives from opiate and opioid use disorders. With locations throughout Tennessee and Virginia, they provide ease of access to quality care. Case managers work with each patient to ensure they can secure housing and employment along with basic needs. Their program is flexible and can accommodate many different schedules.

For those wanting to learn more about ReVIDA® Recovery, call 423-631-0432 or visit their website.


For more information about ReVIDA Recovery® Morristown, contact the company here:

ReVIDA Recovery® Morristown
230 Bowman Street Suite C
Morristown, TN 37813

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