What are possible complications of opioid abuse?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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In general, the following complications may be observed.

  • Opioid dependence: Constipation, noncardiac pulmonary edema (usually with heroin), and heroin-induced glomerulonephritis may occur. Combination products may lead to acetaminophen or aspirin toxicity. Related to IV drug use, multifocal leukoencephalopathy and myelopathy, which may be related to the parenteral route of administration rather than opioids; HIV; viral hepatitis; and bacteremia may occur. Right-sided endocarditis and valvular damage also may occur.

  • Intoxication: Sedation, respiratory depression, and death

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