Opioids or sometimes called narcotics, are a type of drug used to treat persistent or severe pain. For instance, chronic headaches and chronic pain.
Usually doctors will prescribe this medication if other pain reliever medicines fail to work.
Additionally, those who are seriously injured due to accidents, or any adverse incidents may be prescribed with this drug.
How Opioids Act
The drug acts by binding to specific opioid receptors located in the brain, spinal cord, gut and others.
When a person feels pain, the pain signals are sent from the body through the spinal cord and lastly to the brain.
Opioids will block the pain signals from transferring to the brain.
To emphasize, this drug has primary use of relieving intense pain
Potential Side Effects
When you take opioids, you might experience some side effects, such as:
In comparison to its beneficial effects, this drug also carries risks and can be highly addictive.
It happens if you use the drug wrongly. Especially, when it is taken more than prescribed.
Over time, you will develop tolerance to the usual dose.
Consequently, you will need an even higher dose to relieve the pain.
This in turn can turn to addiction. To simplify, the drug can make your brain and body believe that it must be taken and necessary for survival.
How To Use Opioids Safely To Manage Pain
Here are some tips to take the drug safely!
- Talk to your physician or anesthesiologist: Consider another alternative that does not cause addiction such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acupuncture. But if opioids remain the best option, ask how to minimize risk and side effects.
- Take opioids only as directed: Follow what your physician says, and make sure you read the label of the prescription. Additionally, if you are on other medications, ask your physician whether it is also safe to take opioids together.
- Watch out for side effects: Ask the physician about the side effects you should be aware of and what can you do to prevent potential problems.