Can You Get a Fever From Detoxing?

May 4, 2024

Understanding Detox Symptoms

Detoxification, or detox, is a process that involves removing a drug from the body. This allows the brain to make necessary adjustments after the substance is removed from the system. It's important to understand that detox symptoms can vary widely depending on the substance used and the duration of use. This section will delve into the common withdrawal signs and the duration of detox.

Common Withdrawal Signs

Withdrawal symptoms are a part of the body's way of readjusting to a new normal after substances have been stopped. Common signs that your body is detoxing include body pain, anxiety, fatigue, cravings, and symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea [1].

These symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, and include changes in heart rate and blood pressure, sleep problems, depression, and anxiety. Severe signs can include seizures, delirium, and hallucinations.

In addition to physical symptoms, detox can also have emotional and cognitive effects. Emotional changes can include feelings of anger, sadness, anxiousness or depression, while cognitive effects may manifest as slower motor reflexes.

Duration of Detox

Detox symptoms can start showing up anywhere from 8 to 24 hours after the drug is stopped. The duration of these symptoms can last for days or even a few weeks depending on the substance used and the length of time it was used.

For example, individuals undergoing heroin detox may show peak symptoms within 72 to 96 hours, while opioid users might experience symptoms for up to 14 days after the last dose.

Long-term use of a drug changes the brain to a new "normal," making it dependent on the substance to achieve certain states. When the drug is ceased, the body needs to readjust back to its old normal, which can lead to various uncomfortable detox symptoms.

Understanding these symptoms and their duration is a crucial part of the detoxification process. It's important to seek professional help when undergoing detox to ensure safety and proper care during this challenging period.

Fever During Detox

Understanding the physical reactions that can occur during detox, such as fever, is crucial for anyone undergoing or considering detoxification.

Definition of Fever

A fever is typically defined as a temporary increase in body temperature, often due to an illness. Generally, a temperature of 99 to 99.5 F (37.2 to 37.5 C) typically qualifies as a fever [4]. This heightened body temperature is a part of the body's defense mechanism against infection or other health issues, but it can also be a symptom of withdrawal during detox.

Causes of Fever in Detox

While fever is not a terribly common withdrawal symptom or a side-effect of detox medications, it is a possibility, especially for specific substance use disorders. This means that yes, one can get a fever from detoxing as a part of withdrawal symptoms.

The onset of fever during detox can be due to a variety of reasons. It may be a direct result of the body's reaction to the absence of a particular substance it has become dependent on. In some cases, fever can also be caused by the body's response to detox medications.

If you get a fever during medically-assisted treatment (MAT), your treatment providers will treat it alongside other symptoms. However, in a home detox setting, you may need to manage its symptoms yourself.

It's important to note that fevers during detox can necessitate medical help, becoming life-threatening if exceeding 105 F and not responding to treatment, in which case calling 911 is recommended [4].

Being aware of the potential for fever during detox can help individuals better prepare and respond to this symptom. Understanding the cause and knowing when to seek medical help is vital to ensuring a safe and effective detox process.

Managing Detox Fever

Fever during detox can be a sign of the body's healing and cleansing process. It is the body's natural response to the release and elimination of toxins, leading to an increase in body temperature. However, not everyone who undergoes detox will experience a fever. The occurrence and intensity of fever during detox can vary from person to person, and in some cases, it can be a sign of a more severe condition, such as an infection [5].

Treatment Approaches

If a fever occurs during detox, treatment providers will manage it alongside other symptoms. Fevers under 101 F may not need medication, while higher temperatures from 102 to 104 F can be controlled with medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen [4].

Fever (F) Treatment Approach
Under 101 No medication may be needed
102 - 104 Medications like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen

In addition to medication, plenty of rest and hydration can help the body recover during this period. However, it's important to differentiate between mild feverishness and a pronounced fever.

When to Seek Medical Help

If someone experiences prolonged or severe fever symptoms during detox, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Fevers during detox can become life-threatening if they exceed 105 F and do not respond to treatment, requiring immediate medical attention.

Elevated body temperature and fever during detoxification can be signs of significant physiological stress on the body, indicating the need for medical intervention to manage the symptoms effectively and ensure the individual's safety and well-being.

Moreover, if someone experiences a fever during detoxing, it is crucial to seek medical advice as it could indicate an underlying health issue, rather than a direct result of the detoxification process.

In conclusion, while fever can occur during detox, it's not a common symptom and could signal a more serious problem. Always seek medical help when dealing with elevated temperatures during detox.

Other Detox Symptoms

While fever is a common symptom that many people experience during detox, it is not the only one. There are several other signs that your body may exhibit as it works to rid itself of toxins. These include body pain, anxiety, and fatigue.

Body Pain

As an individual goes through a detox, it's common to experience some level of physical discomfort. Body pain, often felt as muscle pain, is a common symptom of detoxing. This discomfort can range from mild to severe, but generally, such pain subsides within 2-4 days [6].


Detoxing can also have significant effects on mental health. Anxiety is known to manifest during detox, leading to emotional and mental instability. In severe cases, individuals might experience panic attacks. These require effective therapies to manage, especially without the reliance on medication.


Fatigue is a typical symptom experienced during drug and alcohol detox. As the body works to rid itself of harmful toxins, it can leave individuals feeling both mentally and physically exhausted. Establishing regular sleep patterns can occur after a full detox, helping to alleviate feelings of fatigue.

These symptoms, alongside fever, are common signs that your body is detoxing. Knowing what to expect during detox and understanding these symptoms can help individuals better manage the detox process. Always remember, however, that detox should be done under the supervision of a medical professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Psychological Effects of Detox

Detoxification, the process of eliminating toxins or harmful substances from the body, can bring about a range of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Two common psychological effects of detox are cravings and emotional instability.


Cravings are a common psychological symptom experienced during detoxification, particularly when the body is accustomed to regular intake of a specific substance. These cravings can be extremely strong, often leading to a desire to return to substance use to alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal.

Managing cravings can involve various strategies, such as talking through them with a supportive individual or counselor, increasing water intake, and engaging in healthy distractions. It's important to understand that cravings are a natural part of the detox process and often decrease over time as the body adjusts to the absence of the substance.

Emotional Instability

Detoxification can also lead to emotional changes, contributing to feelings of instability. During detox, individuals may experience emotional changes like anger, sadness, anxiousness, or depression. Cognitive effects, such as slower motor reflexes, and severe signs like seizures, delirium, and hallucinations can also occur.

Emotional instability during detox can be challenging to manage. It's crucial to have appropriate support in the form of medical supervision and emotional counseling. Individuals undergoing detox should be aware that these symptoms are temporary and are part of the body's adjustment process post-substance removal.

The psychological effects of detox, like cravings and emotional instability, can be intense. It's vital to remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting any detox program, as they can provide the necessary guidance and support to navigate these effects [7]. Medical supervision is also crucial during detox to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively, including any psychological effects that may arise.

Importance of Medical Supervision

Undergoing detoxification, whether from drugs, alcohol, or other substances, is a significant process that can lead to various physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Given these possible challenges, the importance of medical supervision during detox cannot be overstated. Professional medical oversight can provide the necessary monitoring and support, ensuring the safety of individuals throughout the detox journey.

Monitoring and Support

Medical supervision provides the necessary monitoring and support during detoxification. Detox symptoms can start showing up anywhere from 8 to 24 hours after the substance is stopped, lasting for days or a few weeks depending on the substance used and how long it was used.

Individuals undergoing detox may experience a range of symptoms, including fever, cognitive effects, emotional changes, and severe signs like seizures, delirium, and hallucinations. It is important to address these signs to support individuals going through the process and help minimize the impact of withdrawal symptoms [3].

Healthcare professionals can continuously monitor these symptoms, adjusting treatment approaches as needed and providing emotional support throughout the process. They can also provide guidance on how to manage symptoms at home, offering advice on hydration, nutrition, and rest.

Ensuring Safety

The safety aspect of medical supervision during detox is paramount. Certain detox symptoms, including fever, can indicate potentially severe conditions. Fever during detox can be a sign of a potentially severe condition, such as delirium tremens (DTs), a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that includes symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, fever, and seizures, and it requires immediate medical treatment.

Ensuring safety also involves differentiating between normal detox symptoms and signs of more serious health issues. For example, while fever can occur during detox as part of the body's natural response to the release and elimination of toxins, persistent or severe fever symptoms should be addressed by a healthcare professional to rule out underlying medical conditions.

In conclusion, medical supervision during detoxification is essential in providing necessary support, monitoring withdrawal symptoms, and ensuring the safety of individuals. If someone you know is considering detox or is currently in the detox process and experiencing symptoms such as fever, it is crucial to seek professional medical help. By doing so, they can ensure a safer and more effective detox journey.









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