Opioids are often prescribed to treat pain, and include the following medications.
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
Recently, the use of opioids to treat non-chronic, non-severe pain, has become more widespread, leading to increased risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose. Even when used correctly, opioids pose several risks including side effects such as:
- Tolerance—meaning you might need to take more of the medication for the same pain relief
- Physical dependence—meaning you have symptoms of withdrawal when the medication is stopped
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Nausea, vomiting, and dry mouth
- Sleepiness and dizziness
- Low levels of testosterone that can result in lower sex drive, energy, and strength
- Itching and sweating
You can talk to your physician about your opioid use and explore alternative options to pain management.