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Excessive sweatin during opiate withdrawal

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by pema, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    Any idea what could reduce sweating during opiate withdrawal?

    When I'm on opiate withdrawal, from time to really I start to sweat really heavily.
    It's really bad during the nights when I cannot sleep. I turn from side to side and my bed turns wet from all the sweat.
    Usually (when I'm not on withdrawal) I have no problems with sewating.
    I don't want to go to the doctor and get some antiperspirant pills on prescription.
    All that stuff it actually not good for your body, has a lot of side effects (like dry mouth, problems with seeing and your eyes, ...), and works only a little bit.
    But maybe there are some natural (herbal) remedies that can reduce the excessive sweating?
    Does anyone know what to use? any experiences?

    BTW: What causes this excessive sweating during withdrawal? From time to time it just starts, although I do nothing else than sitting on the couch and watching tv.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. G_nome

    G_nome Palladium Member

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    I used to sweat excessively from being on methadone, and i still do get a bit sweaty when i reduce, but nothing like i used to. What i take for the sweating is sage, 570mg twice a day.
    You may not notice effects right away, but stick with it, it deffo works for me.
    Sage is the best remedy i've found for the sweating so far, and with no side effects.
    I still sweat, but it's not excessive, which i'm glad of, coz i didn't want to be taking something that just dried me out, so to speak.
     
  3. davestate

    davestate Gold Member

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    Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a defining symptom of opiate withdrawal, and my own most hated symptom. It makes everything feel miserable and uncomfortable and it really can be soul sapping to come out of a shower that took so much effort to take, then be covered in sweat within an hour.

    Anyway some things that I found to reduce sweating during the acute withdrawal phase were antihistamine/anticholinergics such as diphenhydramine or doxylamine, though I mostly used them in the evening or night, they really worked well and helped me to sleep, so you kill two birds with one stone. A good roll on or stick type antiperspirant. Light cotton based clothes, not too tight or loose and no synthetics. Valerian or camomile can help calm the mind down, which in my experience can make the "jitters" of WD less and help with the sweating a little. Furthermore, I'm not sure if it was placebo, but loperamide in a dose of 4-8mg's seemed to belp me personally with the sweating of WD, but your mileage may vary, and I can't think really why it works, but it made me feel better

    The excessive sweating is caused (in part) by the surge of (nor)adrenaline produced by the body as opiates "block" the bodies response to this chemical in the brain. Have you even been nervous or excited, feeling the butterflies in your stomach and have a racing heart and start to sweat? Well its the same chemical doing it, and unfortunately for opiate withdrawal it's one of the symptoms that seems to appear first and disappear last.
     
  4. camphetamine

    camphetamine Newbie

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    CLONADINE (CATAPRESS) is a drug given for high-blood pressure. Works like a Saint for opiate withdraw ( Chills, Fleshing, Sweats etc.) Ive been over 3 months clean and i still sweat profusely at night if not taken.. thank you, St. Clonadine!
     
  5. aikidoka

    aikidoka Newbie

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    I'm not sure of the chemical name, but the brand name in this country for this stuff is Gastrosoothe. It is an anti-cramping medication used for both stomach and period-type pains but it has the side-effect of reducing sweating quite well. If you get GI cramps (like I do) and sweat during withdrawal (like I do) then this can be a big help to stay dry and GI-pain free through the night.

    It can be had on prescription (which may be subsidised and cheaper in your country) or purchased over the counter as well, depending on where you live.
     
  6. Marvolo

    Marvolo Mercury Member

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    "Herbal remedies" either act as drugs or don't work at all. A number of the opiates you likely took in the first place could be described as herbal remedies.

    Go to the doctor, get some clonidine.
     
  7. brettjv

    brettjv Titanium Member

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    I second the Clonidine idea. It's certainly no magic bullet when it comes to relieving all the effects of w/d's, but it can take JUST enough of the edge off of some of the nastier symptoms to put someone in a position where they might succeed at detoxing vs. failing altogether.
     
  8. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Cold Member Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Although I -at a point in time - accepted that excessive sweating is part of withdrawal symptoms, I definitely was pissed every time I had washed my sheets from last night, together with a zillion of tshirts, did a shower (that was gross enough, water on a withdrawing skin, booaaaah!) came out and after putting aside the towel for the next machine... sweated the same way I did before, and what most, the death smell of withdrawal was back again.
    So some nurse in detox facility told me to try sage tea and it did work marvellously on me.
    Before you try sage out, be sure you can take sage, it is off my mind this moment, but iirc, there were some states of health when sage would not be advisable.. read for it and try it out*.. and - last a few days with it, it takes a bit of time until it really works.
    ( others have told me that sage sweets would do the trick as well, but that is not conformed by me, just wanted to mention it...)

    TBBW

    *honestly I am too busy to look it up right now.. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  9. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    I found a text which said, that diphenhydramine could help removing the sweats. Diphenhydramine is an antihistaminic drug for allergies but also used for insomnia. It's available OTC in most countries.
    While some people told me, it helped them with insomnia during opiate withdrawal, others warned not to take it, because it could make withdrawal RLS a hundred times worse.
    I found some topics on that stuff in this forum but nobody wrote about that stuff and sweating.
    Has anybody made experiences with it? Does it help to reduce the sweatings?

    But although diphenhydramine is available OTC, I would prefer a herbal remedy. But I never heard of herbal remedies that ae effective for excessive sweating.
     
  10. brettjv

    brettjv Titanium Member

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    If diphenhydramine (benadryl) works, then doxylamine succinate (nyquil, some unisom formulations) will probably work even better. It's certainly much better at putting one to sleep.

    And yes, I've most definitely experienced increased RLS by trying to take benadryl to sleep while in w/d's ... with no actual sleep resulting whatsoever. I don't recall if I experienced reduced sweating though.

    However it's hard to know just how bad any given nights sweating or RLS would've been otherwise (i.e. without the antihistamine) and I've only tried the experiment once, so ... not very scientific ;)

    I'd advise trying to find the doxylamine instead if you're going to try an antihistamine for the sweats ... you may actually get the side benefit of sleeping, if you're lucky. Benadryl is most assuredly not going to put you out, and personally I'd rather sweat than have worse 'kicks' ... at least sweating is something you've done all your life. Kicking is just freaky and disturbing.
     
  11. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    Maybe elevated cortisol levels could be a cause of excessive sweating during withdrawal..?

    I read something about Cushing's syndrome. It's a disease you get when there is too much cortisol in the body.
    Withdrawal is of course far away from Cushing's syndrome. But I think, the body produces/releases much more cortisol than usual during withdrawal because withdrawal means severe stress for the body.
    Maybe those elevated cortisol levels could be responsible for the excessive sweating..? When you are in stress, you will sweat more. This is what I realized. Maybe this has something to do with elevated cortisol levels. Anybody here with more knowledge of this than me?

    That's just an attempt to guess. I have no idea what's the reason for the sweating. But when I know what the reason is, then maybe it is possible to find a remedy...
     
  12. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    I found a text on sweating ("Learn What Sweating Is Caused By") in the "Cordyceps Sinensis Blog".

    They list some causes of excessive sweating. Withdrawal is one of them. But unfortunately no explanation.
    I know that withdrawal can cause excessive sweating but that is no real cause... Why do I sweat so much during withdrawal?

    They list some causes that are in no relation with withdrawal. But then they say that "hyperthyroidism" can be a cause of sweating.
    Opiates seem to have effect on thyroid hormones.

    Another cause is "menopause". When I read this, I remembered that opiates shall have a decreasing effect on testosterone throuch increased prolactin release.
    It can also cause OPIAD:
    Daniell HW, Lentz R, Mazer NA. Open-label pilot study of testosterone patch therapy in men with opioid-induced androgen deficiency. J Pain. 2006 Mar;7(3):200-10.

    I'm not sure about this but hormones (maybe thyroid hormones, maybe cortisol, maybe some sex hormones, ...) can perhaps cause that excessive sweating.
    I don't know enough on the effects of opioids on the different hormone systems. It's not easy to find good information (that I will understand as not M.D) on that.

    I really want to understand what happens in the body during opiate withdrawal. Is here anybody who can explain the effects on the hormone systems?
    And could it be possible that hormones are responsible for this excessive sweating? (If yes, which hormones?)


    The chinese mushroom Cordyceps Sinensis is said to be able to help with the sweating. I don't know what it does but I will try and tell you if it really can help.
     
  13. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    I am tapering my methadone dose. I feel no withdrawal symptoms except that I wake up wet from sweat.

    I now ordered some diphenhydramine. Maybe it really hels with sweating. I will try take the stuff before going to bed. Then see if it helps. But it is no herbal remedy...

    Then I wanted to try, if Cordyceps sinensis can help. I thought, I still got some of this stuff. But I am not sure. Hard to believe what some vendors sell... I got a big box but there is absolutely no text on it. I'm not sure what is in it. It's mushrooms pressed to tablets. Either Cordyceps sinensis or reishi. But I don't know if it is pure mushroom powder or a mixture of mushroom powder and extract powder or pure extract powder. It seems like pure powder pressed to tablets. So I can weigh such a tablet to find out how much is in one tablet. But that will not help too much...
    Never even the vendor's name is printed on this box. Then I could write an email and the if the vendor/producer could help me if I describe theses tablets.
    But it seems there is no way to find out if it's reishi or cordyceps. I will just try and see if it helps.

    But I still don't know what causes this excessive sweating.
    I think it's not caused by too much cortisol. The body is in stress during withdrawal, of course. And then the body produces great amounts of cortisol. But I am not in severe withdrawal and I don't feel stressed. I just reduce my methadone dose. I not even wake up earlier which would be my first symptom where I reduce the dose a little too much. And I'm not sweating all the time just waking up in the morning with wet t-shirt and shorts. I don't think that my body is stressed so much that greater amounts of cortisol are produced.

    I found that opioids are in relation to body temperature regulation. But I don't think that I sweat so much during the night because my body temperature gets too high. That could perhaps be the cause during real withdrawal. But then I should also feel hot flushes, I think.

    Sweating is probably a reaction of the body in order to reduce the body temperature. But nearly everyone knows cold sweats. This has probably nothing to do with body temperature. Why does the body react in this way? What can cause this?
    Why sweat during withdrawal and what causes my nightly sweatings from methadone tapering. I reduced the dose not so much that I feel any real withdrawal symptoms.
     
  14. G_nome

    G_nome Palladium Member

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    You've already been given this answer twice, but i'll say it again, in the hope of not being ignored further. Try sage.
    I too am on methadone and used to sweat a bit when reducing, and just from being on the stuff, i find sage reduces the excessive sweating massively.
    And as to what causes the sweating, who knows? Release of toxins? Histamine reaction? I'm really not sure, but i read somewhere that only about 6% of folk on methadone suffer from this uncomfortable side effect.
     
  15. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    Which sage? The common sage, Salvia officinalis? or an other one? Salvia miltiorrhiza is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (but I don't know for what). Salvia divinorum has psychedelic properties and salvinorin A is a kappa-opioid receptor agonist. Salvia nemorosa is also used as herbal medicine, I think.
    And there are a lot of other sages.
    What did you use? Just the "common" sage? And what means 570mg? 570mg of the pure pulverized plant or did you use 570mg of an extract?
    How fast did it work? Immediately relief or was it nessecary to take it for some days until the effect showed up?

    Yes. Some people have sweating problems when they take methadone. In Germany you usually will get methadone rather than polamidon because it is cheaper. But when a patient sweats too much, usually the doctor will try to switch from methadone to polamidon. This helps some patients.
    So it is probably the D-enantiomere of methadone that causes this sweating.

    I remembered that a friend was put from methadone to polamidon but as this did not help, he got pills for the excessive sweating. The name of the medicament was "Sormodren". I don't know if it is available in the USA. Probably it has another name there. The active ingredient is "bornaprin" (probably bornaprine in English).
    This medicament actually is an anticholinergic used to treat Parkinson's disease.
    And I remembered that I knew some people who got this beside methadone from their doctors. It can have some bad side effects as they told me.
    I never tried it.
    But strange thing - a Parkinson medicament. Parkinson medicaments also help for other opioid withdrawal symptoms although some of them work on different neurotransmitters.
    Apomorphin is said to reduce nearly all opiate withdrawal symptoms. (dopamine agonist)
    L-dopa is used to treat Parkinson but also RLS. It shall help with withdrawal RLS, too. (increases dopamine)
    And it seems that in Russia, Parkinson patients will get phenibut and picamilon for Parkinson (Although this has effect on GABA and not on dopamine, it is said to help. At least I read this somewhere.)
    Some of those GABA-drugs can also help with opiate withdrawal. GHB/GBL can reduce nearly all withdrawal symptoms. Baclofen, gabapentin and pregabalin seem to help some people during opiate withdrawal (but I never tried it by myself.)

    Maybe there is a connection?
    It seems that there is a lack of dopamine during opioid withdrawal. Parkinson patients have a lack of dopamine, too.
    Parkison patients often have problems with excessive sweating. The same during opiate withdrawal.
    And then there is the RLS problem.
    Maybe opiate withdrawal is something like temporarily Parkison's disease?

    I don't know what causes excessive sweating in Parkinson patients. Maybe it's the lack of dopamine but maybe it is something else...
    But perhaps the same thing triggers excessive sweating during opiate withdrawal, too.


    EDIT (addendum):
    It is said that b-vitamins, especially vitamin b-12, shall help with excessive sweatings.
    I supplement a vitamin b complex with all 8 b-vitamins in a high dose. It take this since nearly one month. It did not help.
    It also read that magnesium and zinc will help to reduce the sweatings. I haven't tried zinc but I as I started taking the vitamin b complex, I also started to supplement 400mg magnesium daily.
    It did not work, too. Maybe it can help some people but either it does not work for withdrawal sweatings or it just did not work for me.
    The reason why I did not try to supplement zinc is, because I found some studies about mineral levels in opiate addicts and in nearly every of this studies, it seems that zinc levels are increased in opiate addicts.
    One example I found now after a short google search is that: Serum antioxidant micromineral (Cu, Zn, Fe) status of drug dependent subjects: Influence of illicit drugs and lifestyle
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  16. sad_vegetable

    sad_vegetable Newbie

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    I wish I had a cure for excessive sweating. My hot flashes NEVER go away. Drink lots and lots, and LOTs of water though, especially while your going through this and losing so much water.
     
  17. cdog4twenty

    cdog4twenty Newbie

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    I hate to say it but Immodium a/d cured my night sweats coming off 24mg down to 2mg to 0 sub detox
     
  18. kailey_elise

    kailey_elise Gold Member

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    It's already been mentioned, but the sweating (as well as the watery eyes, runny nose, excessive salivation...) is caused by noradrenaline/norepinephrine overload.

    When we take opioids, it slows down our body processes down. Our bodies are always striving for balance (homeostasis). So, in response to the opioid slowing us down, our bodies start making more noradrenaline to counteract some of the effects.

    When we STOP taking the opioids, it takes our bodies a little while to realize "oh, I don't need to make so much noradrenaline anymore, because there aren't extra opioids depressing the system".

    Clonidine is one of the best medications to counter the noradrenaline overload & helps with the sweating & such. Clonidine is often prescribed specifically for sleep hyperhydrosis. As you've also read, first-generation antihistamines (diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, promethazine) help as well. An herbal remedy to achieve the same goals is ingesting common sage (generally in the form of a tea).

    Good luck! I'm one of the few people who suffer with constant excessive sweating due to methadone. I've been prescribed a number of drugs for this, but they all give me serious dry mouth & such as well, and aren't a really good solution. Diphenhydramine works well enough for me during the day, and I take clonidine at night (as the clonidine makes me sleepy; you can become tolerant to the sedating effects if you take it regularly, though). I've been prescribed benztropine (Cogentin), which is an anticholinergic; it's also used for Parkinson's Disease. Diphenhydramine also has some anticholinergic properties, as does dimenhydrinate (often sold over the counter for motion sickness, under the brand name Dramamine).

    Anyway, good luck trying to solve your problem. :( In the summer, since I don't have an air conditioner & I sweat as it is, I just sleep on a big towel & I have 2 of them. If I wake up during the night soaked, I just change my shirt & switch towels. I also ALWAYS sleep with a fan on me, on the lowest/slowest speed; sometimes it's too much for me & I'll throw a sheet over myself so it's not blowing directly on my skin. But for the most part, I don't wear anything over myself when sleeping; in this way, I don't trap any extra heat next to my skin whilst I sleep. A cold washcloth laid on my neck helps me feel better/cooler, though I'm not sure if it helps my sweating at all.

    All the best,

    ~Kailey
     
  19. NeuroChi

    NeuroChi is not his mind Staff Member

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    Clonidine is also prescribed for opioid withdrawal in my country. Go to the Emergency room in the nearest hospital and tell them you're withdrawing from opioids, and describe the symptoms you're having. It may be beneficial to say that this is the first time you're withdrawing for good and planning on going to a withdrawal management center (detox center) and they've suggested you bring clonidine to help with the process. This is how it works here.

    Clonidine essentially 'quiets' the nervous system, which is over-active during withdrawal. Activation of the alpha-2 receptors inhibits the release of norepinephrine and adrenalin. As I'm sure you know, adrenaline (and norepi) are stimulating neurotranmitters that are active in the fight or flight response, and one of their effects is to cause sweating. By taking clonidine, you reduce adrenaline release, and lessen sweating among other effects of adrenalin.

    Opioids depress the nervous system when you take them, and as Kailey described, when you stop taking them, the nervous system is over-active. So you experience the opposite effects of opioids during withdrawal, as described above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  20. pema

    pema Silver Member

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    I know that there is this norepinephrine overload in locus caeruleus during opioid withdrawal. But I am not sure if this is the cause of sweating, watery eyes, runny nose, ...
    This could be possible especially because clonidine helps in this case.
    But I also could have other causes.
    Are there any proves for that? I wasn't able to find any clinical studies or something like that.
    Can you please post some links or quote from some sites?