Side Effects of Pain Medicines
All medicines have side effects. But many side effects can be managed so that you can still take the medicine. Talk to your doctor if you have any side effects. Your doctor may change your dose or the type of medicine you take.
Examples of side effects of over-the-counter medicines
Examples of side effects of prescription medicines
- Opiate pain relievers
These may cause:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint.
- Nausea or vomiting.
Opiate pain relievers are strong medicines that can be very helpful in treating pain, especially after an injury or surgery. They are safest when you use them exactly as your doctor prescribes. But there is a risk of addiction when you take them for more than a few days. The risk is lower if you follow your doctor's instructions on how to take them. Your risk is slightly higher if you or someone in your family has a history of substance abuse. If you are worried about addiction, talk with your doctor.
If you are taking a long-acting opiate pain reliever, make sure you know how to use it safely.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. Talk with your doctor about these possible side effects and the warning signs of suicide.
For more information, see the topic Dealing With Medicine Side Effects and Interactions.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
January 9, 2013
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