Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Pain Medication Withdrawal Underlying Cause

Narcotic withdrawal occurs because the body is physically dependent on the effects of a narcotic. Narcotics blunt the activity of nerves in the body. When the drug is stopped, the body must adjust to the absence of the drug. Nerves throughout the body become excessively stimulated without the drug, which results in the symptoms of withdrawal.

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Last Updated: Jun 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pain Medication Withdrawal References
  1. Scott CS, Decker JL, Edwards ML, Freid EB. Withdrawal after narcotic therapy: a survey of neonatal and pediatric clinicians. Pharmacotherapy. 1998 Nov-Dec;18(6):1308-12. [9855332]
  2. Upthegrove RA, Naik PC. Pharmacological management of opiate withdrawal. Hosp Med. 2001 May;62(5):277, 280-1. [11385887]
  3. Wesson DR, Ling W. The Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS). J Psychoactive Drugs. 2003 Apr-Jun;35(2):253-9. [12924748]
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