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What are the side effects of long term narcotic use for chronic pains ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I was recently prescibed Percoct 10/325 for chronic pain signed a contract with my Neurologist. My mom and I disagree about iong term narcotic treatment. She wants me to quit. I did tonight after our argument.She does not want me to take them any more. I have had chronic pain for 3 years. I have Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Cymbalta and Lyrica has not helped. I wear a CPAP every night for OSA. My Neurologist thought that this would help my chronic pain. It did not, so he wrote a prescription for my chronic severe p. What are your thoughts about long term narcotic use for chronic pain?
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 1 hour later
Hello Tony- Ridge,

Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your mothers' point of view as well as your chronic debilitating pain.

Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a Schedule II opioid and can lead to physical dependence. Although it is used in analgesia, it can be abused and cause drug addiction as well.

However this addiction is relatively rare in patients with chronic pain but may be more common in individuals who have a past history of alcohol or substance abuse or dependence.

However if the dose is adequately managed then chances of drug addiction are less.

Good assessment of the patient, proper prescribing and periodic re-evaluation of therapy are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

One important thing is that you should never abruptly stop this drug as it has plenty of withdrawal effects. The dose needs to be tapered off and then stopped under your doctor’s guidance.

Also in osteoarthritis, some studies have suggested that the food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin can relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness.

Intra-articular injections of cortisone are also helpful in relieving pain.

For persisting pain of severe osteoarthritis that does not respond to weight reduction, exercise or medications, a series of injections of hyaluronic acid into the joint can sometimes be helpful, especially if surgery is not being considered. So you can also consider these treatment options.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.


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