Home Remedies For Cotton Fever | Causes, Side Effects And Treatment

How To Treat Cotton Fever Everything You Should Need To Know


What is Cotton Fever?

Cotton fever is a disease that can happen when people use drugs through an IV. Even though there aren’t many medical, professional, or peer-reviewed studies that talk about cotton fever, IV drug users know a lot about it. When a drug like heroin is given through an IV using cotton as a filter, it causes cotton fever. Cotton fever is known to be caused by dirty drug injections, especially an endotoxin released by the bacteria Pantoea agglomerans, which lives in cotton plants.

Many people with cotton fever self-diagnose it based on what they know about drug-related disease. People often think that the cotton threads that are used to filter intravenous drugs get into the bloodstream and make them sick. There is a lot of evidence that flu-like symptoms are caused by germs getting into the bloodstream. Many people who use intravenous drugs cleanse them with cotton from their homes, like cotton balls or Q-tips. The bacteria in these non-sterile cottons make it more likely that bacteria will get into the bloodstream.

Cotton fever is a short-term rise in temperature that happens after injecting a drug that has been passed through cotton.

In 1975, when the condition was first seen in IV drug users, it was given the name “cotton fever.”

Symptoms Of Cotton Fever

Cotton fever symptoms can show up as soon as 20 minutes after a shot. These signs are like those of the flu, and they get worse over time. Some of the signs are:

  • Fever (101.3-104.5 F)
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Malaise
  • Intense Joint Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid heartbeat or Tachycardia
  • Chills
  • Extreme kinds of shaking

Why do people who use drugs need cotton filters?

Before being put into a needle and injected, heroin and a lot of other IV drugs are heated.

Once the drug is heated, users can draw it through a cotton ball into a syringe as a cheap way to filter it so they don’t shoot any impurities, which can harm the circulatory system or even kill them.

Note: Giving someone your “cotton” is seen as a kind act because the other person will get a small amount of the drug for free. Some heroin users may also try to get the drug out of used cotton when they don’t have enough heroin.

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Cotton fever hits 15 to 30 minutes after a shot and lasts between 12 and 24 hours. Even though the disease will go away on its own, it is very painful and hard to live with.


The problem is that most of the signs of Cotton Fever are the same as those of sepsis, which is a blood-borne bacterial infection that is much worse than Cotton Fever. Sepsis is also called blood poisoning or septicemia.

If you don’t treat sepsis quickly, it can damage many organs and kill you. Sepsis is handled with antibiotics given through an IV and therapy to help any organs that aren’t working properly.

Causes Of Cotton Fever

  • The germs that live in cotton are what cause cotton fever, not the cotton itself.
  • Pantoea agglomerans is the name of the bacteria that is often found on cotton trees.
  • It messes up a person’s respiratory system, which is what causes cotton fever signs.
  • Cotton fever can also be caused by reusing cotton screens that have already been used.

Prevention Tips

Some common prevention tips are:

  • Avoiding using the filters, spoons, and needles of other drug users.
  • Avoiding collecting used cotton filters and washing them to get any leftover product.


  • People often believe that Cotton Fever is caused by bits of cotton that get into the system when they get an injection.
  • In the world of active addiction, this lie is still spread.

The Allopathic Treatment Of Cotton Fever

When someone comes in with a classic background, blood cultures should be done and a course of antibiotics should be given. Also, OTC medicines like acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are some of the most popular ways to treat fever.

Note: If your defense system isn’t working as well as it should, you should see a doctor. People who have cancer, HIV, or autoimmune diseases often have a weak immune system.

Home Remedies For Cotton Fever

Some natural home remedies to treat cotton fever are:

Drinking Plenty Of Fluids

Drink 8–12 cups of water a day, or as much as it takes for your urine to turn pale.

Note: Drinking a lot of water won’t help the body get rid of an illness very much.


It helps the body get rid of heat, which helps bring down a fever. Ginger is also a natural antibiotic and antiviral that helps the immune system fight off any kind of illness.

Lemon Balm

If you make this herb into a hot tea and drink it when you have a high fever, it will help bring down your body’s base temperature. Also, it will help you sleep because it has a small calming effect.

Taking A Hot Shower

Many people who use heroin use a hot shower to help ease their withdrawal symptoms. This is because Cotton Fever is similar to drug withdrawal. So, taking a hot shower might help ease some of the signs of Cotton Fever.


Blackberries lower the number of times you get a fever and make your defense system stronger. Also, they help the body get back the strength it lost and stop anemia, which is caused by a high fever.


Echinacea, which is also known as purple coneflower, is good for boosting the production of new white blood cells and is a great medicine to use with fever medicines when you are sick.

When you have a fever, it’s important to help your immune system work better so that dangerous bacteria leave your body faster.

Yarrow Tea

This herb is good for you because it opens your pores and makes you sweat, which is said to bring down a fever.

To make yarrow tea, put one tablespoon of the herb into a cup of boiling water and let it sit for ten minutes. Drink the tea until it makes you sweat.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar quickly brings down a fever because it is acidic and draws heat out of the skin.

Also, apple cider vinegar has a lot of minerals and helps replace the minerals that get flushed out of the body when you have a fever.


It is a good plant to use to bring down a fever. Take about 20 basil leaves and boil them to use it. Add 1 teaspoon of crushed ginger and boil until half of the fluid is gone. Then, put some honey in the tea and drink it three times a day.

The Cream Of Tartar

It is what most people call potassium hydrogen tartrate, which is an acid salt that is usually found in kitchens and used for cooking and baking. It is also well-known as a tea that can be used to treat fever.

Plenty Of Rest

When we rest, especially when we sleep, our bodies work on healing by reviving and fixing themselves. Also, when we sleep, our bodies make more white blood cells, which can fight off bacteria and viruses that are bad for us. This is exactly what you want to happen.

When you sleep, your brain is able to release hormones that help new cells grow. Rest also helps the body protect itself.

When To See A Doctor

Get help from a doctor right away if you:

  • Trouble in breathing
  • A severe type of cough
  • A detailed history of serious illness, such as heart disease, cancer, AIDS, or diabetes, or if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs.
  • Back Pain
  • Pain while urination
  • Cough with blood
  • if the fever not down with fever-reducing medicine
  • Shaking Chills
  • A continuous earache
  • Throat Swelling
  • Severe Sore Throat
  • Effected to extremely hot weather
  • A red line on an arm or leg
  • Skin Rashes
  • Blisters
  • Trouble in staying awake
  • A stiff neck
  • Severe Diarrhea
  • Severe Stomach Pain
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen

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