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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Extreme Narcotic Sensitivity

 iluvgrapes - Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:29 am

I'm a 27 year old female with endometriosis that causes debilitating pain. About every few months I have thee need for IV/IM narcotics to lessen my pain. On the occasions where Morphine or Dilaudid were used I experienced the following effects within minutes of injection: 1). excessive sweating, 2) rapid pulse, 3) hypertension 170/120 (I run 120/80) 3)severe (Number 10) pain in my upper abdomen and my neck and 4) severe intractable nausea. Over the last two years I've experienced this reaction once with Morphine and on three occasions with Dilaudid. The combination of Demerol and Zofran or Ativan and Zofran reverse these effects.

I have asked several physicians what this reaction is from with no answer. The only possible cause I have been able to associate is sulfite sensitivity (I typically feel the same neck pain when drinking wine, but to a lesser degree)

Any thoughts on why I am sensitive to these particular narcotics?



Past Surgery: Distal Pancreatectomy (Due to mucinous cyst with endometriosis implant)
Gall Bladder (Due to endometrioma)

Current Meds: PPI and OC
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:13 pm

User avatar Hi Iluvgrapes,

In a certain percentage of people, these reactions to narcotics (particulary morphine) are seen. There are a few possibilities. One is that you are actually allergic to the compound. This is fairly rare and less likely.

Another is that you have an exaggerated response to the narcotic. Narcotics such as morphine can cause histamine release. In some people this occurs quite significantly resulting in effects that mimic an allergic reaction, although this is not a true allergy.

Benadryl often reverses these effects as you've seen. Occasionally, other types of narcotics work better such as demerol or fentanyl.

If you are having trouble finding a good pain medicine you may want to consider seeing a pain specialist.

Best wishes.

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