Cotton Fever: Does the Patient Know Best?

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4 Scopus citations


Fever and leukocytosis have many possible etiologies in injection drug users. We present a case of a 22-year-old woman with fever and leukocytosis that were presumed secondary to cotton fever, a rarely recognized complication of injection drug use, after an extensive workup. Cotton fever is a benign, self-limited febrile syndrome characterized by fevers, leukocytosis, myalgias, nausea and vomiting, occurring in injection drug users who filter their drug suspensions through cotton balls. While this syndrome is commonly recognized amongst the injection drug user population, there is a paucity of data in the medical literature. We review the case presentation and available literature related to cotton fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-444
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • case report
  • cotton fever
  • drug abuse
  • intravenous drug abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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