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Things to Know About Cotton Fever Facts


If a patient has a history of recent IVDU present with a complaint of fever, the mind should focus on the numerous possible infectious complications that can arise.

Among various fever, cotton fever is an uncommon diagnosis of exclusion in patients with IVDU presenting to their bodies. This kind of fever is benign with a self-limited febrile syndrome characterized by fevers, leukocytosis, and myalgias.

This occurs in injection drug users who filter their drug suspension via cotton balls. In this session, we are going to acquire certain useful information regarding cotton fever symptoms and how to treat it. 

Basic Details about Cotton Fever

First, you should understand cotton fever is probably not caused by cotton fibers because it was caused by bacteria that live in the cotton. It can grow a lot of bacteria, especially after it gets wet, and reusing cotton can put bacterial straightly into your bloodstream.

Here are the common symptoms that indicate cotton fever:

  • Chills and fever
  • Nausea and headaches
  • Hot flashes and vomiting
  • Shaking that can’t be controlled 
  • Shortness of breath

The symptoms mentioned above are usually showing up after injecting but may take a few hours. If these symptoms last longer than 4 hours, immediately go to an emergency room.

Don’t ignore symptoms, because it may cause a serious condition to your health like a blood clot that could kill you. 

Get Treatment For Cotton Fever

Cotton fever is a diagnosis of exclusion, a patient who has a record of IVDU who presents with a febrile illness needs a physical exam and diagnostic evaluation to identify a source of their fever.

Patients with a normal diagnostic evaluation and symptoms are resolved in the ED, and the decision may be fraught. Discharge from the ED would hinge on outpatient follow-up, which may be challenging when a huge amount of patient population. 

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