NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATIONS
Our country and communities are in an opioid epidemic crisis. The proper use and monitoring of these medications is of upmost importance. Our office will take every measure to ensure the least amount of medication is dispensed and that the benefits outweigh the many risks. Our office will require an opioid agreement, random urine testing, random pill counts and close monitoring. We want to ensure the safest use of these medications for our patients, but also your families and our community.
For severe pain conditions, narcotic (opioid) pain medications may be prescribed. All narcotic agents have a dissociative effect that helps patients manage pain. It does not actually change the pain or does it have any effect of the injury or condition causing pain, but works to dissociate patients from the pain for a short time period.
In general, opioid medications can be effective in treating back pain for short periods of time (less than two weeks). After the initial one-two weeks, the body rapidly builds a natural tolerance to narcotic medications and they lose their effectiveness. While some physicians believe that narcotics can be used long-term at low doses to treat chronic pain, narcotics are most commonly used to treat severe acute (short-term) low back pain or post-operative pain.
Opioids have several major side effects and potential risks, such as:
- Impairment of mental function and drowsiness. Patients taking a narcotic should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery.
- One of the greatest concerns with Opoiids include suppression of the respiratory (breathing) drive.
- Significant constipation. Patients taking opioids should take care to include extra fiber in their diet, and possibly use laxatives, to avoid constipation.
- Addiction. Addiction to opioids is probable within 2-3 days.
- Drug interaction with acetaminophen. Most narcotic agents have acetaminophen in them and should not be taken with additional acetaminophen.
- Drug interaction with the Benzodiazepam class of medications. Most narcotic agents cause respiratory and cardiac suppression. Combination with other medications which also surpress the cardio-respiratory systems can be life threatening. Do not combine narcotics with benzodiazpams (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, etc.), marajuana or alcohol.
- Naloxone (Narcan) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency with signs of breathing problems and severe sleepiness or not being able to respond. Nasal Spray or injectible is to be given right away and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Get emergency medical help right away after giving the first dose even if the person wakes up.
13710 Olive Boulevard (Primary Office)
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Telephone: 314-469-PAIN (7246)
Exchange: 314-441-6965 (for after-hour Emergencies Only)
Monday thru Friday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM