A person trapped in a bottle of Pentazocine (Fortwin) medications.

Artwork by Aavantikaa Wassan

A person trapped in a bottle of Pentazocine (Fortwin) medications.

The Battle with Pentazocine Addiction: Signs, Effects and Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Written by Aditi Sahu

Did you know that addiction is not limited to alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana? For instance, people experiencing chronic pain may succumb to prescription medications. The power that such drugs have to relieve pain makes them all the more addictive. Exactly why understanding the fine line between following a prescription and being dependent on it is paramount to overcoming addiction. 

What is Pentazocine (Fortwin Drug)? Where is it Used?

Fortwin, a brand name for the drug Pentazocine is a pain-relieving injection given to manage chronic pain for which alternative treatments are inadequate. The drug is also used as a pre-anesthetic or as a supplement to surgical anesthesia. Pentazocine is the name of the drug which is prescribed as Fortwin, other names, etc. The drug is only prescribed in extreme situations such as labor pain or to use as a pre-anesthetic/ supplementation to surgical anesthesia to maintain the level of anesthesia and is generally administered by a healthcare professional.

What Makes Pentazocine (Fortwin) Drug Addictive?

Pentazocine (Fortwin) is an opioid analgesic (pain reliever) that works by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain to lower pain perception. Opioids are substances used to combat severe to moderate pain like morphine and codeine. It is prone to cause addiction. Opioids interact with the opioid receptors of the nerve cells changing the activity of the cell, hence producing feelings of comfort and sleepiness in the brain. ‍

“To nullify the addictive nature of opioids in Fortwin, it is coupled with 'naloxone', an opioid antagonist. When Fortwin is consumed as prescribed and instructed by a health professional, naloxone blocks the opioid receptors. Thus barring the effect of the consumed opioids. Most people fighting Fortwin addiction disrupt the medication by breaking or crushing to snort or inject them, leading to severe distress”, says Dr. Arun Kumar, Consultant Psychiatrist, describing the safeguards against Fortwin addiction.

What Happens to Your Body Once you are Addicted to Pentazocine ?

Our body creates its opioids called 'endorphins' which help calm the body in times of distress. But opioid drugs like prescription pain medicine or heroin have much stronger opioid effects and are more dangerous. Over time, frequent use of opioid drugs makes the body dependent on it. When the drug is taken away the body reacts with withdrawal symptoms such as headache, racing heart, soaking sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. For many, these symptoms feel impossible to bear. With continued consumption of drugs like Fortwin, the receptors on the nerve cells also become less responsive and develop tolerance to the drug. As a result, more drugs are needed to produce the same effect, causing an overdose.

How to Determine if You Are Addicted to Pentazocine?

“Continued intake of Fortwin leads to changes in the brain that leads to a destructive pattern of drug abuse. It affects the mind and behavior of a person such that they are unable to control the use of the drug to a point that it interferes with their ability to think and function,” says Dr. Arun Kumar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cadabams Group. Pentazocine addicts usually show the following signs:  

  • Secretive behavior 
  • Significant decrease in productivity
  • Bruises on the body or injection marks 
  • Experiencing hallucinations, seizures, dizziness
  • Vomiting, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties
  • Feeling dry in the mouth
  • Sudden change in mood and mood swings
  • Refraining from socializing 
  • Financial problems or legal problems
  • Problems in dealing with relationships
  • Denial
  • Addressing issues with the use of pentazocine.
  • Ensuring a steady stock of pentazocine.
  • Engaging in risky behavior to obtain or while using pentazocine.
  • Taking high doses of pentazocine.

What are the Side Effects of Pentazocine (Fortwin) Drugs?

While the biggest effect of any drug addiction is the addiction or the dependency of one's body on the effect of the drug to the extent that it refuses to function properly if the drugs are stopped. Here are some of the other significant damage caused by Fortwin drug abuse:‍

  • Impotence, infertility, and sexual problems
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Complications from chronic constipation
  • Other gastrointestinal complications
  • Breathing problems including sleep-related breathing issues
  • Increased chances of cardiovascular issues like heart failure 
  • Multiple hormonal problems
  • Emergence or deterioration of psychological conditions like depression.
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Impaired judgment
  • Severe constipation
  • Seizures
  • Severe weakness 
  • Sudden loss of appetite

What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Pentazocine Drug?

It is obvious for individuals addicted to Fortwin to experience withdrawal symptoms while attempting to completely stop using it. As their bodies are now habitual to receiving a specific dose of the drug and hence find it difficult to function without it. Withdrawal symptoms are nothing but the body’s way of signaling the need for more drugs. While these symptoms might vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of the addiction, we have listed some of the commonly observed withdrawal symptoms a pentazocine drug addict might experience:

  • Tiredness or weariness
  • Hindered sense of judgment 
  • Serious blockage
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness 
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches/ Twitching
  • Insomnia and disrupted sleep pattern 
  • Runny nose
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Cramping
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea and vomiting

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When Should I Seek Help for Pentazocine Addiction?

We understand that seeking help for Pentazocine addiction is easier said than done. However, the earlier you reach out to experts and begin the course of treatment, the sooner you will achieve long-term recovery. Therefore, if you observe any of the following indications, it is advisable to promptly contact a healthcare provider:

  • Engaging in excessive drug consumption
  • Continuing to use the drug despite the harm it causes
  • Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuing drug use

‍How do I find a Pentazocine Addiction Rehab Center Near Me?

Finding the right rehab center is essential for attaining successful recovery. It involves evaluating their years of experience, areas of expertise, background of the professionals, etc. It is important to assess the level of comfort and rapport you have with the professionals of the center. Establishing a positive relationship ensures a smoother path toward healing.

What is the treatment for Fortwin addiction?

Treating drug addicts requires a thorough medical diagnosis to devise a procedure that’ll eventually cure the patient. A series of medication, behavioral counseling, and follow-up options along with constant evaluation is critical for successful redemption. Any treatment would include both medicinal and mental health services as needed. Medical detox, confidential treatment, and rehabilitation programs have proved to be successful in curbing Fortwin's addiction.

Remember, any substance abuse treatment is effective only when a patient undergoes all the stages of treatment. While there may be multiple times when the willpower of the person fighting addiction may wane, it is important to stick through the treatment for positive results. 

Why Cadabams?

Cadabam’s is home to a team of qualified psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and certified healthcare professionals who are committed to offering a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services that are safe, and effective, and respect the confidential nature of such treatments. At Cadabams, we ensure that every patient receives personalized and holistic treatment right from prevention to aftercare. With round-the-clock medical assistance, a comprehensive diet plan, exercise routines, and more, we ensure a nurturing environment for all our patients to speed up the rate of recovery and ensure optimal physical and mental health.

If you are searching for a solution to your problem, Cadabam’s Rehabilitation Centre can help you with its team of specialized experts. We have been helping thousands of people live healthier and happier lives for 30+ years. We leverage evidence-based approaches and holistic treatment methods to help individuals effectively manage your Pentazocine (Fortwin) addiction.

For any mental health-related help, reach out to us at +91 96111 94949, +91 7353226622.


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Is pentazocine addictive?

Fortwin or pentazocine is a pain-relieving drug that induces a feeling of comfort and relaxes the functioning of the brain. Hence the substance can be highly addictive. 

What are the complications of pentazocine?

There are several side effects/complications of Fortwin including-

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Breathing problems 
  • Drowsiness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Seizures 

Can I take Pentazocine every day?

Pentazocine is a pain-relieving medication that is only prescribed for a particular duration of time. The course of this drug is specified by the doctor, hence, continuing or ending the course must be done under their supervision. 

What are the withdrawal symptoms of pentazocine?

The withdrawal symptoms of pentazocine (fortwin) include- 

  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia 
  • Changes in appetite
  • Muscle aches 
  • Nausea 

Is Fortwin's addiction Treatable?

‍Addiction to any substance is treatable, depending on the condition of the addicted patient. It must be treated like any disease as it has direct effects on the functioning of the brain. One must remember that no one treatment is right for everyone and the treatments need frequent revisions to fit the changing needs of the patient. It may take months or years to completely overcome the drug addiction. 

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