Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
186 Doctors are Online

Given vicodin to kill pain from minor surgery on tongue. Alternately given codeine pills. What are the side effects?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1201 Questions
Hi there. I'm actually asking a question on behalf of my mom. She is 70 and in pretty good health. My concern in about future care. Recently she had a minor procedure on her tongue, which required Vicodin to kill the pain. Unfortunately just a couple pills made her violently ill.
As an alternative I offered her my own leftover codeine pills that I bought over-the-counter while in Canada, but she knew from past experience that these would produce the same side-effects.

When and if she requires major surgery or needs pain relief later in life, will there be an alternative to these meds to alleviate pain? From what I know, all pain killers except for acetaminophen are opiate based. Are some concoctions like morphine, or oxycotin less likely to produce such violent nausea? I'm just imagining a situation where she's in extreme pain and can't alleviate it. As someone who was in a similar situation overseas, the thought drives me crazy. Surely there must be people in similar situations, and what do you do? Thanks,
Posted Fri, 21 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 1 hour later

thanks for taking care of your mom. As you mention, most of narcotics have class side effects and cross reaction, meaning that different drugs can give the same undesired side effects. The other major class of medications that you left out of consideration are non steroidal antiinflammatories or NSAIDS, medications from the same family as aspirin that help relieve inflammation and mild to moderare pain. Intravenous and intramuscular options include ketorolac and diclofenac. From the oral options, if there is a history of gastric ulcers then celecoxib is the best choice otherwise naproxen and ibuprofen have the safest profile. these can be combined with acetaminophen for increased pain control

hope that helps wish you both the best

Dr Brenes Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Doctor Now

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor