Many people think that nausea is an allergic reaction, but it’s not, it’s actually a normal function of the brain. Nausea is a highly distressing queasy feeling that alerts your brain to the possibility of throwing up. Nausea can occur with or without vomiting, but it typically, though not definitively, occurs before vomiting.
Opioid induced nausea
Heroin is an opioid, which means it’s a painkiller, but it’s also illegal. One of the most common adverse effects of opioids is nausea. Within hospitals, nausea occurs in 25 – 30 percent of patients treated with opioids. However, since heroin involves greater average dosing and subsequent amplified effects, it results in higher than average nauseating events. We also know that nausea and vomiting occurs more often in women than in men and more likely in blacks than in whites.
Heroin causes nausea
The first time a person uses heroin it is likely they’ll get nauseous and throw up. It’s not a rule that a person has to throw up, but it’s common. Strangely enough, getting queasiness, nausea and vomiting are normal parts of the heroin addict lifestyle. In truth, many heroin addicts glean pleasure from throwing up. The reason being, because heroin addicts perceive it to mean “strong heroin.” Over the drug addict career, tolerance will develop to nausea and vomiting, and eventually these uncomfortable side effects fade away.
Chemoreceptor trigger zone
Immediately after heroin is administered, it metabolizes into 6-monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) and Morphine, which subsequently triggers the release of dopamine. The more 6-MAM, Morphine and dopamine detected by the Chemoreceptor Trigger Zone (CTZ), the greater the potential for an emetic response. Although the precise mechanisms of heroin-induced nausea and vomiting are not entirely certain, it appears that stimulation of the CTZ, and opioid receptors in the GI tract are both involved.
The CTZ is part of the medulla oblongata, which is the lowest part of the brain stem, which is at the base of the brain connected to the spinal cord. The medulla oblongata is also the oldest part of the nervous system and is responsible for many involuntary functions, such as heart rate, breathing, sneezing and vomiting.