Risks and Side Effects of Prescribed Opioid Use

Risks and Side Effects of Prescribed Opioid Use

Published: January 11, 2019

This past fall, the Texas Department of State Health Services received close to $3 million to address issues related to the opioid epidemic. The grant came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an ongoing effort to help health professionals fight against deaths from overdosing and gather data on opioid-related issues throughout the state, including those affected here in San Antonio.

For many years now, it has been far too common for the pain relief drugs used to treat chronic pain to overwhelmingly include prescription opioids. These chronic pain medications are used to address moderate to severe pain and have frequently been used after surgery or after an injury has taken place.

Opioid Dependency: What Patients Need to Know

One out of every four patients who are prescribed opioid medication over a long period struggle with addiction to the drug. Additionally, there are also a host of significant risks and side effects of prescribed opioid use.

Many patients, for example, experience a quick tolerance to opioids. In this instance, the initial dosage prescribed to the patient becomes insufficient to manage their pain. As a result, the patient may find themselves taking more of the medication to bring about the same relief. But this is just one of the many risks and side effects of prescribed opioid use.

Other patients develop a physical dependence upon the medication. When they cease using it, they exhibit symptoms of withdrawal, which can bring about additional complications.

Side Effects Reported by Patients

Some opioid users experience decreased levels of testosterone. This results not only in a lower sex drive but also reduced energy and strength.

Some additional side effects include:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Itching
  • Sweating

Of course, not all who use opioids will develop these conditions, and there are certain parts of the population are at higher risk than others. Those who have a history of drug abuse, mental health conditions, sleep apnea, are pregnant, or who are over the age of 65 seem to be particularly at risk.

Alternatives to Opioids

As you can see, the risks and side effects of prescribed opioid use are significant and have become increasingly troublesome throughout the nation and for our San Antonio community. But chronic pain and opioids are not inextricably linked for those dealing with pain. Many alternatives may be more effective in addressing the condition.

When you are experiencing chronic pain that prevents you from living the life you are used to experiencing, you merely want to know it is possible to regain control of your daily life. The problem is not understanding your options which can leave you taking courses of action that may be harmful to you.

Dr. Raul Martinez and his team believe their patients should understand the full range of options available to them. They offer an integrated pain management approach that keeps the health and needs of the patients first.

Dr. Raul Martinez: A Conservative Approach to Pain Management

Physicians who specialize specifically in pain management practice a specific field of medicine with a conservative approach to pain management. If you are asking yourself, “Are there pain doctors near me?” contact the pain management center of Dr. Raul Martinez.

Dr. Martinez is double board certified and has assembled a highly skilled and committed team of Texas pain specialists to serve the San Antonio community. Treating a wide variety of conditions, we work with each patient to tailor a unique course of treatment to help them take back control of their life.

We know that severe, constant, or acute pain affects your participation in daily activities and can hinder both your functional and emotional well being. Loss of independence, anxiety, and irritability are commonly associated with untreated pain or insufficient treatment. We offer conservative relief for a variety of pain conditions with the primary goal not to simply minimize pain and discomfort, but to provide a better quality of life.

Contact us today so we can help you get on the road to being free of pain. Click below to schedule your visit.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.