Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia Treatment

| Modified on Jun 21, 2014

Conventional treatment of opioid-induced hyperalgesia revolves around changing or eliminating the pain medication causing the severe pain. This is often followed with natural treatments such as exercise, ginseng and cayenne, which help restore the body’s ability to respond normally to pain once again.

What is Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia?

Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia is a long name for PAIN. In brief, pain medications (such as Oxycontin and hydrocodone) intended to relieve pain are now causing pain. This is a very frustrating condition for doctors, but particularly for patients. People who have been taking pain medications begin to experience unexplained and often severe pain that does not respond to treatment.

This is not a new problem. As long ago as the 1800s, doctors noticed that some patients who had become dependent on morphine were experiencing constantly increasing pain and referred to this condition as ‘morphia’.

Exactly what is happening is still being studied, but what is known is that the brain has become confused by some chemicals in the opiates; the nervous system becomes affected. The person’s pain threshold becomes very low; a simple bump hurts horribly. People may increase the amount of pain meds they take to dangerous levels, but are only causing themselves more pain.

Treatment for Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia

Currently, opioid-induced hyperalgesia treatment focuses on breaking the cycle of pain meds/pain/pain meds by changing or eliminating the cause: the pain medication. Which treatment is used depends on whether or not the illness that originally required pain medication has been cured.

Changing the Pain Medication

A different medication might help.  Methadone or buprenorphine are two such possibilities being used in treatment centers. If the reason for originally starting with the pain meds has been cured, then there will need to be gradual withdrawal or detoxification.

Ketamine Infusion

Ketamine was once used as an anesthetic during surgery. It blocks the NMDA and NMDAR receptors (involved with the central nervous system and the brain). As pain worsens, the number of NMDA receptors increases, transmitting more pain signals. Ketamine blocks those receptors and may stop the pain. However, Ketamine is dangerous and should only be tried when nothing else works. Research continues on other methods for blocking the NMDA and NMDAR receptors.

Drug Detoxification

Drug detoxification is done in a detox center or hospital to get all of the opiates out of the system.

Natural Remedies for Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia

The body needs to regain its ability to produce endorphins, providing natural pain relief. Once the patient has gone through drug detoxification, these methods (and many others) will help re-train the body to generate natural endorphins. In addition to the alternative remedies below for opioid-induced hyperalgesia, aroma therapy with lavender and vanilla and eating some chocolate are reported to help increase endorphins.


Any exercise will give you a rush of those feel-good endorphins. It doesn’t matter if you do it alone or with a group. It’s all good.


Cayenne has many health benefits (check it out in our Remedies section!). It provides detox support by stimulating the circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems. Cayenne tea made with lemon and honey is an excellent total body detox.


For countless centuries, ginseng has been one of the most frequently used natural cures. Among its other benefits, ginseng is a great accompaniment to exercise because it delays fatigue, allowing muscles to be more efficient in their use of energy. It also balances the release of stress hormones.

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia is hyper-sensitivity to pain -- everything hurts. It is caused when the brain and nervous system scramble messages received from receptors. The body must first detox from the opiates. After that, natural remedies including exercise, cayenne and ginseng can help the body regain the ability to respond to pain normally.


Opioid-induced hyperalgesia in humans: molecular mechanisms and clinical considerations.
Chu LF, Angst MS, Clark D. Clin J Pain. 2008 Jul-Aug; 24(6):479-96.

Opioid induced hyperalgesia: clinical implications for the pain practitioner.
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Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia Facts

Posted by Andrea C (Wales) on 03/28/2014

Can we please start a thread on Opioid-induced hyperalgesia

It's misdiagnosed as Fibro/chronic pain/CFS/Neuropathic pain/ too many ailments for me to list right now. This is urgently important!!! :


Billions of us are suffering hell 24/7 year after year and its OPIATES which are given to relive agonising pain? They are the CAUSE!!!! People kill their self to try and escape this living drawn out no hope death??? It needs to be out there in public!!! There fore I am begging you PLEASE OPEN A PAGE WHAT EVER!!!! I will provide any info I can as and when I've spent over 10 years getting sicker and told I've got 100 ''illnesses'' and may die from anyone and there is nothing can be done??? IT'S A LIE!!!!! Thats why when people go the whole hog and put up with WD's and DETOX SYMPTOM'S HEALING CRISIS for ages when they start to feel after a long time their getting better???

Its the Neurons and nerves healing once the opiates are out of the body!!!! There are people dying like flies here!! And cancer paitents give up because the Opioid-induced hyperalgesia is deemed as the CANCER causing horrific pain and then they get given more opiates???? I WATCHED MY MOTHER AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS DIE BECAUSE OF THIS AND WHAT BRAIN WASHED DR'S TOLD THEM??? A lot of DR'S KNOW ABOUT THIS!!!!!! MINE ONLY ADMITED IT BECAUSE I FOUND ALL THE PROOF MYSELF!!! I WISH I COULD PUT MORE EVIDENCE IN FRONT OF YOU BUT I'M IN TOO MUCH AGONY RIGHT NOW!!! GO ASK ANYONE ON THIS WEBSITE IN ''CHRONIC PAIN'' OR ANY HELLISH PAIN IF THEY ARE OR EVER WERE GIVEN OPIATE PAIN KILLERS? I AM TELLING YOU NOW THEY WILL ALL SAY YES!!!! THANK YOU ANDREA C XXXX

EC: Hi Andrea, a new page has been created for you. Thank you for the suggestion!

Replied by Andrea C

I am detoxing off opiates at this time and it's hell!! Its as bad as the opiate induced hyperalgesia its self. I have done so much research on this and this as agonising as it is is the only way. And it takes quite a bit of time. I wiil post more info when I can as it's too painful to type.

I use this video to get sleep after having problems from the pain from opiate induced hyperalgesia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chfah8znxe8:

Deep Shamanic, Tibetan Meditation Music with 4.5Hz Theta Binaural Brainwaves

and also put a hot water bottle in my bed before I get in and keep it in there, it helps. Love Andrea c xxxx

Replied by Andrea C

If you are or ever have been on Opiate painkillers and have Chronic pain, Fibro, CFS, etc., read up on opiate induced hyperalgesia you may find your answer to many painful syndromes once you know what this is. I been given so many misdiagnoses even MS, ME and other's as well as the above and worse. I did research and saw everything happening to me as being opiate induced hyperalgesia. I am angry, this has been known about in the Medical fraternity for over 100 years? ONE OPIATE is all it takes to trigger it off, not just long term uses. Andrea C xxx

Replied by Bee
(New York)

Hi Andrea C..

I am new to binaural beats but so far I have listening to a few..question is how long does it take before someone sees results.. I did listen to one for pain and It helped...but I am still new to it all. Sorry you are experiencing your situation.. Thanks

Replied by Andrea C

Hi, if you've found one you find helpful you need to stick with it for a bit, as it's to-do with different brain waves being affected by signals to the brain which is how the body and mind operate. Different brain waves will do different things, Some will liven you up, or relax you.

Others will ease or completely take the pain away. I tried different ones at a time, to see what I felt at ease with. Some within a minute I stopped and other's I found useful. And it's best if you have headphones to listen through them. And some got lovely videos with them so I put it on wide screen by using the icon bottom right of the video and to go back to normal screen just click the same one.

What one will find works in a good way for them may not do anything for anyone else.I tried one that someone else raved about and it gave me a bloody headache and ringing in my ear's after 2 mins :-D Something else I find helpful is guided meditation as well, you can listen to them anytime of day. Some prefer the AM others PM. But I just use it no matter what the time is.

Love Andrea C xxxxxx

Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia Treatment

Posted by Andrea C (Wales) on 04/23/2014

As and when I can, I will keep adding to this page as I also post on a drug Forum where 90% of people on there have 'Chroinc Pain'' of one sort or another and a mega list of 'Diagnoses'. I have an Avalance in my PM box there as they read my journal on opiate induced hyperalgesia and are all saying the same thing: "OMG!!! I have all the same symptoms you've described and its getting worse, there is no escape from the agony!! ''

Now I know why and what it is its ''opiate induced hyperalgesia'' I feel sad that I am a lay person has more knowledge than all the so called ''experts' that have caused this, and the answer's are ALWAY'S the same 'here take this' more opiates?''

Then you end up in deeper trouble as this ailment which is all to do with these drugs is being continuously fed by drugs, there is no help or cure or anything to be gained by listening to the Medical Fraternity.

You now need to get ALL drugs out of your system and this will not be easy, and you will become a lot worse as you detox. Some people do what they call 'Jumping'' which is to go completely CT (cold turkey) and others taper down until they get low enough a dose to ride it out or get down to zero drugs.

The best way to do this in my opinion is try to stop the least harder drug to taper or CT, for instance, a lot of us are also on Benzodiazapines or SSRI's as well, so the Opiates are the ones that are the lesser of the evils to come off as its a matter of a week to three, but 1 to 2 week's is the most common time scale.

Get a pill cutter if you can't take out a whole pill in one go and cut one in half, or as I found with Oxycontin 80mg I had to cut it into eights by 1/4 one then 1/4 it again and leaving one eighth for a week. Next week 2 eights and so on. It depends on you which opiate you personally feel is the least troublesome to cope with first, we're all different.

The others I either cut 1 in half or left out one whole pill/capsule every week to 2 week's but never no longer than 2 week's as I was on so much it would take 100 years doing it too slowly. And some I cold turkeyed completely at the same time as another one or more.

You got to find your own way around this and you must stick with it no matter what. Even by taking an extra one after dropping down, you're going to sabotage your own efforts and feel like your back at square one again.

But DO NOT STOP THE BENZODIAZAPINES OR THE SSRIS CT!!! They must be tapered as to CT off them will cause major problems. I will write more later as I can't do more right now I have CFS, which is because of the opiate induced hyperalgesia and can't keep my eyes open right now. Love Andrea C xxx

Replied by Andrea C

Hi after doing more research one thing that look's very promising for may illnesses and health reasons is Zeolite. And there is only two that have scientific research and proof done on them and this one here is the purest and it works, not only is science backing it up. But many Medical people, so there's lots of back up data on this and it's saved a lot of lives too. So I've now sent off for this as it shows great promise in my long quest to find a cure for not just myself but billion's of other's out there with OIH.

Replied by Andrea C

I am trying to heal myself with dietary changes and after much trial and error I have now decided on ''The Western Price A Price Diet'.

I am also going to include a link I found to a free online copy of the original book ''Physical Degeneration And Nutrition''

By Dr A.Price. http://www.w8md.com/nutrition_vs_physical_degeneration_dr_weston_price.pdf

This is the book that inspired Sally Fallon to write 'Nourishing Traditions' Written by the man himself.

Love Andrea C xxxx