Narcotics, also called opioid pain relievers, are reserved for pain that is
severe and not helped by other types of painkillers. Narcotics work by binding
to receptors in the brain, blocking your feeling of pain and, therefore, your
limitations from pain. These drugs do have the potential for abuse and addiction.
Addition, however, is less of a problem than once thought when these medicines
are used as prescribed for relief of pain. While these medicines should be
used carefully and only under the direct supervision of a doctor, they can
be effective at reducing pain.
Examples of opioids include:
- Fentanyl (Duragesic) - available as a patch
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Morphine (MS Contin)
- Oxycodon (Oxycontin, Percocet, Percodan)
- Tramadol (Ultram)
Possible side effects
In addition to the risk of addiction, opioids can cause:
- Impaired judgment
- Nausea or vomiting
When taking narcotics, do not drink alcohol, drive, or operate heavy machinery.
Review Date: 4/6/2007
Reviewed By: Benjamin D. Roye, M.D., M.P.H., Orthopaedic Surgery, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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