Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Opioid Use and Heart Palpitations

Opioid Use and Heart PalpitationsOpioids are drugs that physicians often prescribe to treat moderate to severe pain. Common prescription opioids include codeine, tramadol, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone and methadone. However, these drugs can affect the heart, so seek help to ensure your health and safety.

Common Opioid Side Effects

Common side effects of opioid abuse include the following examples:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Itching
  • Dry mouth
  • Constricted pupils
  • Constipation

None of these symptoms are life threatening, but a combination of some symptoms can make people quite uncomfortable. Infrequent adverse reactions to opioids include the following:

  • Respiratory depression (especially with more potent opioids)
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Hypothermia
  • Bradycardia/tachycardia
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Urinary retention
  • Muscle rigidity

In addition, opioids can compromise the function of the immune system, so abusing it at all can cause devastating problems.

Opioid Overdose Symptoms

Opioid overdose is characterized by a decreased breathing rate that can lead to death. If you suspect that someone is overdosing on opioids, look for the following signs:

  • Inability to speak
  • Limp body
  • Pale or clammy face
  • Blue, purple or black fingernails and lips
  • For lighter skinned people the skin tone turns bluish purple, but for darker skinned people it turns grayish or ashen
  • Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic or has stopped
  • Pulse (heartbeat) is slow, erratic or absent
  • Choking sounds, or a snore-like gurgling noise
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsive to outside stimulus

Immediate emergency care is required for people experiencing any of these symptoms.

Opioid Addiction Effects

Opioid dependence is a disease that leads the brain to need an opioid. A key indicator of opioid addiction is the compulsive use of the drug despite obvious harm. Having an intense desire for a drug and losing control over your drug use are serious warning sides of addiction. Additional behaviors that signal opioid addiction include the following examples:

  • Denial that a problem exists or minimizing the severity of it
  • Impaired control over use, or using more than planned
  • A lot of time is spent obtaining, using or recovering from using
  • Important obligations like school, work or childcare are reduced for the sake of use
  • Multiple prior unsuccessful attempts to quit or a persistent desire to quit
  • Continued use despite obvious harm to one’s health, job, finances or family

If you have one or more of these symptoms, the best choice is to seek help from a quality drug addiction treatment program.

Opioid Abuse Help

It is difficult to imagine life without a medication that relieves pain. However, if you think that you might be addicted to opioids, you need to get help. However, you don’t have to handle this alone, because we are here to help. If you feel that you could benefit from addiction therapy but need more information to make your decision, call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about rehab.

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