Opioids are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe pain. They may be used for a short time for pain, such as after surgery. Or in some cases a doctor might prescribe them for long-term pain. They don't cure a health problem. But they help you manage the pain.
Opioids relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain and the way you feel about pain.
Sometimes opioids are used for people who can't take other pain medicines. They may be prescribed if you have heart, kidney, or liver problems. For instance, you may take an opioid instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
Opioids are strong medicines. They can help you manage pain when you use them the right way. But if you misuse them, they can cause serious harm and even death.
If you decide to take opioids, here are some things to remember.
Opioids or other medicines that contain them include:
If you need to take opioids to manage your pain, remember these safety tips.
Common side effects include:
You may have other side effects or reactions. Check the information that comes with your medicine.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 14, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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