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Laudanum Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Although the term laudanum is rarely heard today, the substance is still available and used both medicinally and illicitly. The substance carries a high risk of dependency because of its primary ingredient, opium. Laudanum withdrawal is similar to withdrawal from other opiates, such as heroin, and can be medically assisted to ease the symptoms and aid recovery.

If you or someone you love needs help with laudanum dependency or addiction, please complete the brief form or call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? at any time for confidential support and assistance.

Laudanum, which is an opium tincture, is used as an antidiarrheal medication. Because it can be highly addictive and dangerous in large doses, practitioners administer it in very small doses. With routine use, however, a person needs larger doses to experience its effects. Consistent use can result in both physical and psychological dependency, and large doses put people at risk of overdosing. Laudanum is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, along with drugs such as cocaine, oxycodone, and morphine.

In addition to relieving diarrhea and depressing the respiratory system, opium tinctures can cause intense feelings of euphoria similar to that of a heroin high. As the body and mind become accustomed to it, a person develops a need to use it. People also continue using it to ward off withdrawal symptoms, which tend to begin in less than 24 hours after cessation. Withdrawal symptoms can also occur after temporary medicinal use.

Withdrawing from Laudanum: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Opiate withdrawal typically has two stages. It begins with milder symptoms and then progresses into stronger symptoms if the person doesn't use the drug. Laudanum withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, and increased perspiration
  • Insomnia and frequent yawning
  • Muscular aches and abdominal cramps
  • Nervousness and agitation
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Laudanum withdrawal can feel similar to the flu. People who detox from the drug for recovery can do so at an inpatient clinic or at home. Medical assistance can make the process more comfortable, however. A clinic will monitor the person's health and may provide different types of medications for symptom management. Some clinics also offer rapid opiate detox. This method of laudanum withdrawal treatment places a person under anesthesia. While sedated, the person is administered large doses of opiate-blocking drugs.

Patients who are addicted to laudanum or opiates should consider using inpatient treatment for detox and the initial stages of recovery. Although inpatient treatment is not always necessary, it can be beneficial. Detoxing from opiates lowers a person's tolerance to the drugs, and this low tolerance can be dangerous for those who may use Laudanum after leaving the hospital. If patients take their standard doses following complete withdrawal, they may overdose. In inpatient treatment, counseling and other interventions are provided to prepare people for remaining clean once they return to the community.

Laudanum Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification 1These types of services are also provided on an outpatient basis. Following detox in either setting, physicians may prescribe medications to help people manage cravings and avoid opiate use. Certain medications can block the effects of laudanum, while others can mimic its effects on the brain without getting a person high. Pharmaceutical therapy for opiate addiction can include methadone use or a buprenorphine prescription. For methadone, a patient must visit a clinic to receive the dose. Buprenorphine can be taken like any other prescription drug.

Treatment for laudanum withdrawal and addiction does not rely solely on medications, though. For more information on the types of treatment available and the withdrawal process, please fill out the short form or call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?. This 24-hour hotline will be answered by an addiction support representative who will help you get the treatment you need.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab and Recovery

Rehabilitation for opiate dependency assists people with underlying issues as well as relapse prevention. These services are provided in a variety of settings. For intensive outpatient treatment, a person can visit a rehab center or health department daily or weekly. This type of program usually includes several hours of treatment per session, which may be conducted as group therapy. Patients also have one-on-one meetings with their counselors and psychiatrists when enrolled in these programs.

Residential programs are another option for those who prefer intensive treatment outside of a hospital setting. For standard outpatient treatment, a person may meet with a counselor each week and follow a methadone maintenance program. Attending support groups such as SMART Recovery could be another aspect of the outpatient treatment program. A rehabilitation plan is designed specifically for each person and their unique situation.

Laudanum Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Laudanum
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: Laudanum
  • Brand Name: Tincture of Opium
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: Varies
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Yes, children with mothers addicted to heroin
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Varies
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Varies
  • Chemical Makeup: Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Thebaine, Papaverine
  • System: Opiods
  • Duration of Action: Varies
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Tincture
  • Administration Routes: Oral/Sublingual/Buccal
  • Dosage: Varies
  • Overdose: Variable, but as little as 100 mg
  • Alcohol Interaction: Laudanum should not be mixed with alcohol as severe liver damage and even death may occur.
  • Illicit Drugs: Laudanum should not be mixed with other drugs as death may occur
  • Prescription Medications: Please speak to your doctor before mixing medications with Laudanum
  • Contraindications: Asthma, respiratory weakness,
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Dysphoria, constipation, respiratory depression,
  • Long-Term: Liver dysfunction, possible death
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Extremely high
  • Signs of Abuse: Constant shallow breathing, body tremors, agitation, lethargy, depression
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: Between 30 minutes- 24 hours of last dosage
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Depression, agitation, hallucinations, body tremors, shallow breathing, lethargy
  • Tolerance: Easily built up
  • Cross Dependence: Possible with alcohol and other opiates
  • Physical Dependence: Extremely high
  • Psychological Dependence: Extremely high
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Laudanum Withdrawals Last?

There is no set timeline for Laudanum withdrawals. Some people may start to withdrawal in as little as thirty minutes after their last dosage. During the duration of withdrawal it is possible to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. The length of withdrawal may last anywhere from a few days to well over a month depending on how much Laudanum was being used.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Laudanum?

L, Tincture of Opium, Poppy,

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

In regards to Laudanum, there is no safe home remedy detox method. Most users will find themselves unable to relieve their pain. Because Laudanum is a complete opiate, it may be very difficult to detox, and for this reason, it is highly recommended that users do not seek help from a natural sort of detox, but instead consider the safest alternative, a professional detox center. The detox centers will be able to offer the most relief possible for Laudanum users and can ease the possible trauma of some of the withdrawal centers.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Laudanum?

There are many different options for centers to help a user detox from Laudanum. However, no matter which treatment is used, the detox time should be about the same in length. It will usually take between 48-72 hours for the Laudanum to leave the body’s system. After that, the user may experience withdrawal symptoms and may need to seek out a program for addiction recovery. To find a program in your area, call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? or visit our locator page. Recovery can start today.