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By: Chad Zawacki, PA-C

A large amount of the population with acute and chronic pain in the United States are on prescribed Opioids.

Some individuals are hesitant to start opioid treatment due to being afraid of becoming addicted to the medication.   It is important to note that opioid treatment should ultimately be the last treatment option in acute/chronic conditions outside of surgical events due to their side effects.  The big one NOT being addiction.

Although opioids do have the potential for abuse and addiction the biggest side effects that opioids are known for are respiratory depression and constipation.  Opioids slow down gut motility thus slowing down how fast one’s digestive system typically works.  With this being said you are more prone to have constipation as food does not get digested at a normal rate but instead slower.  Opioids also affect areas of the brain that control breathing by suppressing it.

It is important to talk to your health care provider about the risks or side effects and benefits when considering an opioid as part of your treatment plan.  Although high affective they do have some serious and even life threatening consequences that may not be worth ingesting.  When combined with other controlled substances such as a Xanax or clonazepam the above side effects are greatly increased and caution should be used when combining controlled substances.

If you are suffering from chronic or even acute pain and do not like the side effects that come with medications or maybe you just do not like taking medications we would love to help formulate a treatment plan for you at 45 Urgent care and Advanced Rehab and Medical that is safe but also beneficial. Give us a call at 731-554-0571 or 731-664-6998 to learn more.