Narcotic Analgesics

Narcotic Analgesics

Examples of Analgesic Drugs | La Hacienda

What are Narcotic Analgesic Drugs?

Narcotic analgesics are prescription pain relievers ordered for treatment of moderate pain to severe pain. They are most appropriately prescribed for the relief of short-term, intense discomfort due to medical conditions or pain occurring immediately after surgery.

Narcotic analgesics bind to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the nerve messages that would normally transmit pain. Released slowly into the body, they can control pain for extended periods of time. 

Although narcotic analgesics have been used for all types of pain control, they are prescribed less often due to the risk of addiction.

Types of Narcotic Analgesics

A narcotic analgesic may be a single opioid, such as morphine or oxycodone, or a combination of an opioid with an over-the-counter pain medicine such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

Examples of the latter include Roxicet and Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), Lorcet, Vicodin, and Lortab (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) and Percodan (oxycodone and aspirin). These come in short-acting versions taken as doses when needed, or as extended-release versions for around-the-clock treatment of pain.

Morphine by itself is an opioid treatment for moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone has similar uses.

Common Narcotic Analgesic Brands

Dilaudid 

Dilaudid (hydromorphone) comes in liquid and tablets and is used to relieve chronic pain.

Hydromorphone extended-release capsules and tablets are given to opioid-tolerant patients to alleviate severe pain that requires around-the-clock relief for a long period.

OxyContin

OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride) is a strong prescription medicine used to manage pain that requires daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment.

It is prescribed when other pain treatments, such as immediate-release opioids or non-opioid medicines, are not effective or cannot be tolerated.

Actiq

Actiq (fentanyl citrate) is an opioid used to treat breakthrough cancer pain that cannot be controlled by other medications.

Use as Chronic Pain Medicine

Analgesic Drugs for Pain Medication | La Hacienda

To control pain, a doctor may suggest taking a narcotic on a regular schedule, maybe even every few days to start, depending on the dose.

Persistent pain is usually treated with long-acting opioids released slowly into the body. Sometimes an around-the-clock “opioid dosing” for all-day pain management is needed.

Whatever the treatment plan, patients should inform their doctors about any other medications they are already taking as there could be interaction conflicts the narcotic analgesic.

Use for Breakthrough Pain

Narcotic analgesics may also be prescribed to treat breakthrough pain, moderate to severe discomfort that may occur after major surgery or with a terminal disease such as cancer.

Usually, the patient is already on a chronic pain medication, and a different narcotic analgesic is given for the breakthrough pain.

Due to the opioid addiction crisis, doctors are prescribing fewer opioids for this use. The National Cancer Institute says that over the last decade physicians are less comfortable prescribing opioids to treat cancer pain, often turning to less-effective, less-stigmatized medications. 

Narcotic Analgesic Withdrawal Symptoms

When opioids are used over an extended period, a tolerance or dependence can occur. The body becomes accustomed to the drug dose and if usage suddenly ends, the patient can experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Abuse Risks When Taking Opioids

Prescription medication abuse is a widespread problem. U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency statistics show that opioids and over-the-counter medicine is being abused at a rate 400% greater than marijuana use.

A narcotic analgesic, like other drugs, can cause a dependency or addiction if not taken properly as part of a pain mitigation strategy based on a physician’s diagnosis. For example, taking opioids for chronic non-cancer pain over a prolonged time can make it hard to stop taking the drugs.

At its worst, non-medical drug use can also cause medical emergencies and even death.

As when taking any narcotic, the user should not drive, drink alcohol or operate heavy machinery.

Find Help at La Hacienda Treatment Center

La Hacienda Campus we do Opioid Therapy

La Hacienda has been successfully treating patients for addiction to narcotic analgesics for more than 50 years.

Our team of doctors, nurses and clinicians does a thorough assessment of each patient’s situation and needs and prepares an individualized treatment plan. The clinical importance of this preparation is evidenced in the many people who have found sobriety and learned how to live without drugs at La Hacienda Treatment Center.

Our care team works secure in the knowledge that the environment supports their mission. Through risk evaluation, La Hacienda identifies potential problems and takes steps to prevent them before they can occur, safeguarding our patients’ wellbeing. We stay alert to state or federal interagency guideline changes in drug addiction treatment standards.

If you or someone you love is having trouble with addiction or alcohol abuse, phone (800) 749-6160 and talk with one of our on-site Admission Specialists.

Morphine Taken for Chronic Pain | La Hacienda

Morphine

A medication used to treat extreme pain; it belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works by making changes in the brain that affect how the body feels and responds to pain.

Taking Opioids like Dilaudid Can be Dangerous | La Hacienda

Dilaudid

A medication used to treat extreme pain; it belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works by making changes in the brain that affect how the body feels and responds to pain.

Oxycontin has Opioids Dose Risk | La Hacienda

OxyContin

A medication used to treat extreme pain; it belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works by making changes in the brain that affect how the body feels and responds to pain.

Diagnosis Educational Aid | La Hacienda

Actiq

A medication used to treat extreme pain; it belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works by making changes in the brain that affect how the body feels and responds to pain.

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