Opiate-based painkillers are often prescribed for patients suffering with severe or chronic pain. Doctors are likely to prescribe these painkillers for cancer patients, especially those in the later stages of the disease. While opium medicine is effective for pain relief, you should consider the dangers before taking it.
Common Side Effects
According to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, opium medications can cause several uncomfortable side effects. You need to discuss bothersome side effects with your doctor.
- Dry mouth
- Urinating less often
- Sweating more than usual
- Tingly sensations under the skin
A doctor can prescribe other medications to help alleviate some of these, such as constipation and nausea.
Dangerous Side Effects
An overdose of opium-based pain medications can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal side effects. Overdose is likely to occur if you build up a tolerance to your medication or become addicted and take more than prescribed. Some serious and side effects include:
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Breathing problems
Addiction to Opium Medicine
Taking opium-based pain relievers puts you at risk for psychological and physical dependence on your pain medications. While these medications work well to control pain, they also affect your central nervous system. Nervous system effects include:
- Mood changes
- Mental slowness
When taken as prescribed, opium-based pain killers offer effective pain relief without a loss of conscientiousness. When abused, you can become addicted to the euphoria-like feeling that these pain medications provide, and develop the need to increase your dosage to achieve the feeling you crave.
Symptoms of addiction include:
- Social isolation
- Increased drug tolerance
- Agitation when not taking the medication
- Sadness when sober
- Neglecting personal appearance
- Continuing taking the drug despite the problems it causes
Before taking your pain medication, discuss how to safely use the medication with your doctor. You should never take more than the prescribed dose and never more often than recommended. If you miss a dose, wait until time for your next dose, to avoid accidental an accidental overdose.
Opium medications provide effective pain relief for patients who are suffering with severe or chronic pain when taken as prescribed. However, if you have a history of addictive behavior or you are recovering from any type of substance abuse, you may want to discuss other pain medication options with your doctor. According to Harvard Health Publications, “The Addicted Brain“, some people are more prone to addiction than others.
If you are a believe you or someone you know is addicted to opium medication, the first step to recovering is admitting there is a problem, so that you can seek the help at a nearby rehab center that can help you overcome your addiction, and enjoy life again. You can also discuss substance abuse treatment options with your doctor.