What are Narcotic Analgesics?
Narcotic or opioid analgesics are pain relievers. Most are made from codeine or synthetic codeine with either acetaminophen or aspirin to provide more effective pain relief. Some common brand names are: Percocet®, oxycodone, oxycontin, Tylenol® with codeine, Tylox®, and Lortab®. These medicines are generally used for a short period of time for control of acute pain (pain not expected to last more than a few days to a few weeks). The doctors at Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center rarely prescribe narcotics. Narcotics are proven to be non effective in cases of fibromyalgia.
How do I take it?
The dose for these medicines is different for each person. This drug is used for several types of arthritis. The number of capsules or tablets that you take depends on the strength of the medicine and on the amount of pain you are having. Your doctor will tell you how many pills to take and how often. Follow your doctor’s directions. For the best results, take these pills at the same time every day. Do not take more or less medicine than ordered.
What about side effects?
This medicine can be habit forming if not taken correctly. This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy, dizzy, or lightheaded. Make sure you know how this medicine will affect you before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous. Nausea or vomiting may occur, especially after the first couple of doses. This effect may go away if you lie down for a while. These medicines can also cause dry mouth and/or constipation. A stool softener such as colace (docusate), can be added if necessary. Your water intake should be increased. Hard candy can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth.
What about other medications?
When you are taking narcotics, it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as vitamins and herbal supplements.
Narcotics can be taken with other medications. It is best to have your doctor’s advice before adding another drug to your daily routine. Some combinations of drugs can be dangerous or ineffective.
What else should I know?
Do not drink alcoholic beverages, and check with your doctor before taking any other medicines while you are using this medicine. Do not share your medication with others.
Narcotics are usually dosed from 2 to 4 times a day as needed for pain. These should be taken at evenly spaced times of day, for example, every 8 hours. Follow the instructions on the prescription bottle.