What are Narcotic Pain Medications, Know its Risks, Benefits, Uses

What are Narcotic Pain Medications and What are its Uses?

Narcotic Pain Medications also known as Narcotic Analgesics. It is quite an effective and preferred way to treat certain pain conditions like pain caused by arthritis and other muscle and joint pain conditions. In some cases, Narcotic Pain Medications are also used preoperatively or during a surgical procedure to increase the anesthetic effect. Some Narcotic Pain Medications like hydrocodone are also quite effective in treating conditions like cough and medications like methadone are utilized in people who are addicted to certain substances like heroin and other recreational drugs.

The mechanism of functioning of Narcotic Pain Medications is that they act on the central nervous system of the patient thus relieving pain. Narcotic Pain Medications may be beneficial for a number of pain conditions but it is never recommended by physicians to utilize Narcotic Pain Medications on a long term basis as these medications have an incredibly high addiction potential and if taken chronically it may be difficult for the patient to come off these medications.

If these medications are stopped abruptly they it may lead to quite a few withdrawal symptoms, some of which may be quite uncomfortable. Narcotic Pain Medications cannot be sought over the counter. Only a physician can prescribe Narcotic Pain Medications. Once the patient runs out of the prescribed medication, then the prescription needs to be renewed by the same provider who prescribed the medication in the first place. Pain experienced by a patient on mechanical ventilation or postoperative pains are some of the common uses of Narcotic Pain Medications.

What are Narcotic Pain Medications?

What are the Benefits for Narcotic Pain Medications?

As stated, Narcotic Pain Medications are beneficial in treating pain conditions. The most common cause of pain are bone and joint conditions like gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia etc. Narcotic Pain Medications are also beneficial in the postoperative period for some time to calm down the pain that the patient may experience after undergoing a complex surgical procedure. These medications work by acting on the central nervous system by slowing down the pain perception of the patient and thus giving pain relief. In some cases, Narcotic Pain Medications are also used for treating conditions like chronic cough. Also, in some cases, Narcotic Pain Medications can also be beneficial in treating individuals who are prone to recreational drug uses.

What are the Risks for Narcotic Pain Medications?

Along with the benefits that come along with Narcotic Pain Medications there are also quite a few risks associated with these medications and hence physicians are reluctant to prescribe Narcotic Pain Medications for on a long term basis.

Some of the common risks associated with Narcotic Pain Medications are:

  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Respiratory depression
  • Urinary retention.

These side effects gradually fade away with continued use of the medications but there should always be cautions maintained with use of Narcotic Pain Medications especially in patients who have respiratory issues like bronchial asthma, have liver dysfunction, or in cases where patients have increased intracranial pressure

Another important risk which comes with chronic use of Narcotic Pain Medications is the potential for habituation or physical dependence on these medications. Abruptly stopping Narcotic Pain Medications may result in withdrawal symptoms with the patient experiencing increased pain and wanting more Narcotic Pain Medications. Thus, physicians always give a tapering dose of Narcotic Pain Medications so that once their pain is controlled they can be easily weaned away from Narcotic Pain Medications without any major withdrawal side effects due to Narcotic Pain Medications.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 10, 2017

Recent Posts

Related Posts