Ways to help manage the side effects of narcotic painkillers

Being in pain is never fun no matter what the reason behind it. It can be acute, such as following surgery or a chronic condition that is causing the pain. Often, narcotic painkillers are recommended for several types of pain because they really reduce the patient's pain levels so that they can help return to normal functioning. Every medication has side effects and no medication is 100% safe, but there are ways to manage the side effects of narcotic painkillers. CONSTIPATION Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is a very common side effect from taking opioids. To help combat this side effect: - Take a stool softener - Narcotics are notorious for causing constipation. Taking a stool softener with each dose, up to 3 times a day, passing a bowel movement will cause strain. - It is safer than using a laxative - Drink plenty of water - Consuming enough water will ease the symptoms of constipation and make it easier to go - Consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. This, too, will facilitate the movement of food through the intestines DROWSINESS - Drowsiness and sleepiness are common side effects of narcotics, as well - Do not drive or do anything similar until you realize how you react to the drug - You may need to rest or lie down - This side effect may ease as you get used to the medicine - Get help with chores and care of dependents if necessary until you get used to the medicatio - Avoid alcohol as it will increase the drowsiness Discuss any other medications you take with your doctor as other medications can worsen the drowsiness or be downright dangerous in combination. NAUSEA - Narcotic pain medications can cause nausea or vomiting in some people - The best way to lessen this effect is take the medication with food or a meal - Taking it on an empty stomach probably will cause nausea, so make sure you consume at least a small amount of food with each dose


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