Many health conditions cause pain, and in some cases the pain is unbearable. Pain can make the patient unable or unwilling to move or even think clearly. Drug Information Online defines pain as "a signal from our body that something is not right." Pain can be caused by diseases, injuries or emotional distress. Some patients will find relief from pain through therapy or other treatments, but sometimes they need a very strong pain reliever like a narcotic, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, uses the central nervous system to relieve pain.
Doctors prescribe codeine to treat mild or moderate pain. Codeine may be habit-forming and can cause complications for patients with some diseases. Patients should not combine codeine with alcohol. Pregnant women should not take codeine. The pain reliever also can cause withdrawal symptoms in patients who stop taking it suddenly.
Patients who have moderate to severe pain sometimes take morphine. Drugs.com lists the official drug information from the Food and Drug Administration. It says morphine dulls the pain centers in the brain, relieving severe pains throughout the body. There are short-acting formulations for sudden bursts of severe pain and extended-release formulations to relieve non-stop pain.
Some patients take hydromorphone for pain. Like morphine, there are both extended-release versions and short-acting versions of the medication. Hydromorphine is a chemical variation of the narcotic pain medication morphine.
Levorphanol also treats moderate to severe pain. Doctors recommend that patients not drink alcohol while they are taking levorphanol. This narcotic pain reliever is not safe during pregnancy. According to drugs.com, common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dry mouth, itching and loss of sexual interest.
Oxycodone is similar to morphine, although patients taking oxycodone should increase their daily intake of fiber to avoid constipation. Patients should also drink plenty of water while taking this narcotic pain reliever and avoid stool softeners unless recommended by a doctor. Oxycodone is a very addictive narcotic, and patients should keep their medication out of sight and out of reach because it's the drug of choice for some addicts.
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