Home DrugsSwitching From Opioid Analgesic To Non-Opioid Drugs (For Chronic Pain)
Switching From Opioid Analgesic To Non-Opioid Drugs (For Chronic Pain)

Switching From Opioid Analgesic To Non-Opioid Drugs (For Chronic Pain)

Chronic pain management and relief focus on many effective treatments. Ranging from physical therapy like acupuncture or chiropractic, patients can choose many pain relief methods. Throughout many years, opioid analgesic was the most common drugs for clinical usage. However, medical experts, patients, and researchers were able to see the side effects of using narcotic medications for pain relief slowly. Nowadays, further research led to non-opioids for various usages. You can click here to check other sedation treatments aside from the usual opioid analgesics. Modern medical, physical therapy, and dental clinics and offices today are slowly integrating non-narcotic or opioids for their practice. 

What Is An Opioid Analgesic?

Our central nervous system hosts a lot of nerves that spread around the body to indicate danger in the form of pain. With the nerves as receptors, it helps the person get a warning trigger for hazards through the pain. On the other hand, pain issues may become chronic pain. To fight this pain, narcotics or opioid analgesic works by blocking these sensitive receptors through oral tablets, lozenges, or even transdermal routes. Dependence on opioid analgesics can become a risk or challenge for the patient. Hence, it is advised by many medical doctors to prescribe narcotics for short term pain relief. 

What Was The Issue With Opioid Prescribing?

The use of narcotics in pain relief was a traditional type of treatment, which even surpassed using cocaine or other substantial drug-related pain relief. However, as this analgesic is a narcotic drug, it may make a patient susceptible to overdose. Several unmonitored medications for opioid prescribing in various chronic pain treatments can become an addiction. Furthermore, many patients can have side effects of using constant opioid prescribing. Now, you may see less opioid use while pharmacies and drug stores are shelving out over the counter (OTC) opioids. 

Side Effects Of Opioid Analgesic

Opioid Analgesic

Many medical scientists and researchers are continuously looking for treatments on chronic pain. However, opioid use and opioid prescribing are not advisable nowadays due to the mentioned risks. Additionally, some doctors may still prescribe narcotics depending on the severity of the health illness. Still, there are many efforts to avoid using narcotics as prescription medicine. What happens when a patient uses opioid analgesic? Here are some side effects that you may want to check before your opioid use. 

Recurring Constipation

Initially, a narcotic analgesic and even non-opioid drugs are prone to constipation and intestinal problems. Due to its substances and properties, analgesics delay the fluid in the intestinal tract. It may also change the way the muscles work in the digestive system. Moreover, it can also cause cramps, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite. Hence, many doctors stop opioid prescribing for patients since constipation is one of its immediate effects. 

Nausea and Vomiting

In connection with constipation, additional intestinal problems involve nausea and vomiting when using a narcotic drug. It enhances stimulation in the digestion, causing the body to excrete the trapped fluids since constipation blocks the rectum. You may want to switch to another type of analgesic for your treatment. Further health complications may happen for patients that continuously take opioids, particularly those with diabetic or intestine problems. Contact your primary care physician to know which alternative drugs you may use to combat your nausea and vomiting as well. 

Tolerance And Addiction

One of the most dangerous adverse effects of opioid analgesics is how patients can become unknowingly addicted to the drug. Depression, anxiety, and irritability are one of the common side effects of overdosage while being tolerant in narcotics. Addiction to medicine can be subtle as many patients may give excuses for constant pain as long as they can feel their dependence on analgesics. Doctors need to monitor their patient’s dosage and observance to instructions. A patient must also take part in observing the right dosages to avoid tolerance and addiction. You may want to ask a psychologist or a clinical doctor for referrals and tips on how to combat addiction in drug usage.

Advantage Of Using Non-Opioid Analgesics For Treatment 

Today, many medical, physical therapy, and dental centers and facilities are using non-opioid analgesics for pain relief. Most doctors are now avoiding opioid prescribing for chronic pain for their patients. Opioid use is slowly getting a halt for its many adverse effects. Hence, several patients may have a prescription of drugs such as Tylenol or Motrin that are available in many drug stores. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are under non-opioid analgesics to help decrease inflammation with pain relief. The advantage of using non-narcotics for acute and chronic pain management focuses on less addictive elements than of its previous counterpart. Regardless, there may still be side effects such as intestinal or kidney issues. It is best if you ask your doctor about the right dosages on these medical products.  

Examples Of Non-Opioid Use For Chronic Pain

These drugs are available at nearest drugstores and pharmacies. However, not all have an over the counter (OTC) equivalent. Most pharmacies and drug stores may have to ask prescription from your doctor. However, OTC drugs such as NSAIDs can have generic brands. Before you take one, it is vital to have an initial checkup from a doctor. 

  • Acetaminophen 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin)
  • Selective COX-2 inhibitors (Celecoxib)

What Are The Other Treatments For Chronic Pain?  

Aside from medical cure and treatment through prescription medicine, many prefer physical therapy as an effective method. Many patients Opioid Analgesic For Chronic Painget suggestions for acupuncture, acupressure, and chiropractic. You may want to get certified and licensed professional acupuncturists and chiropractors for chronic pain management. Moreover, these alternative treatments are seeing the approval of many medical experts. Chiropractic and acupressure focus on less to non-intrusive styles of pain relief. Also, these physical therapy techniques can reduce opioid use from many patients. However, some people may still require opioid use due to their current health conditions. Please seek professional medical advice from your doctor before availing these alternative physical therapies. 

 

How Can Your Doctor Help You To Avoid Opioid Prescribing?

At this day and time, it is almost impossible for doctors not to know how dangerous narcotics are in the medical industry. Hence, you may get an assurance that doctors will give you milder drugs that are effective to combat your health problems. You may have to also ask for additional recovery options and treatments to ensure your full healing. 

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