What are narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
Narcotic analgesic or opioid medications are used for treating moderate to severe pain.
Narcotic analgesics attach to receptors on nerves in the brain that increase the threshold to pain (i.e., the amount of stimulation it takes to feel pain), and reduce the perception of pain (the perceived importance of the pain). Most men and women take narcotic analgesics for short-periods of time until pain lessens or goes away. Some adults have chronic pain, which requires proper pain management since long term use can lead to drug addiction and tolerance (the need for increasing doses). Narcotic analgesics have a high potential for misuse, abuse, and diversion (to addicted persons).
The CDC has recently developed and published the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings in 2016
What are examples (list) of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) of available in the US?
Examples of narcotic analgesics are:
- What Kind of Doctor Do I Need? Slideshow
- Dental (Oral) Health Quiz
- Causes of a Heart Attack Slideshow
- What are narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
- What are examples (list) of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) of available in the US?
- What are the side effects of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
- What drugs interact with narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
- What formulations of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) are available?
- What about taking narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
What are the side effects of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
Common side effects of narcotic analgesics include:
Severe side effects of narcotic analgesics include:
What drugs interact with narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
What drugs interact with narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics)?
- phenelzine (Nardil),
- selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, and Eldepryl),
- tranylcypromine (Parnate),
- procarbazine (Matulane),
- rasagiline (Azilect) and
- isocarboxazid (Marplan).
Therefore, the discontinuation and initiation of narcotic analgesics and MAO inhibitors should be separated by at least 14 days.
Narcotic analgesics should be used with caution with central nervous system depressant medications such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata) and alcohol because of increased risks of respiratory depression, low blood pressure, sedation, and in severe cases, coma and death.
Narcotic analgesics should be used with caution with medications that alter liver enzymes that affect the elimination of narcotic analgesics because levels of narcotic analgesics can increase or decrease in the body and thereby affect their therapeutic effectiveness.
What formulations of narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) are available?
- Codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and methadone are available as immediate-release tablets.
- Oxycodone and morphine are available as extended-release tablets.
- Morphine and hydrocodone are available as extended-release capsules.
- Morphine also is available as intravenous, subcutaneous, and intramuscular injections.
- Fentanyl is available as an oral lozenge (Actiq) and topical patch (Duragesic).
What about taking narcotic pain medications (opioids, analgesics) during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of narcotic analgesics to determine if their use is safe and effective use in pregnant women. Narcotic analgesics may pass through breast milk and affect the baby; therefore, they should be avoided in females who are breastfeeding.
Narcotic analgesics (also called opioids) are medications prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Examples (list) include:
Side effects include:
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Back Pain Quiz: Test Your Back Pain IQ
There are numerous causes of chronic lower back pain and only one ailment gets more complaints. What is it? Quiz your knowledge...
Headaches Quiz: Learn About Headache Pain
If you're plagued with headaches, our Headaches Quiz may help you identify causes, triggers, symptoms, and treatments for...
Pain Quiz: Test Your IQ of Pain
Is pain all in the brain? Take the Pain Quiz to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the unpleasant sensation we...
Common Causes of Foot Pain
Learn about common causes of foot pain such as bunions, corns, athlete's foot, plantar warts and more. Get the latest information...
Back Pain: Find Relief, Treat Your Back Pain
Back pain conditions are very common. Learn the truth and get the facts behind myths, remedies, causes and treatment for back...
Nerve Pain: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options
Learn about nerve pain symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Discover medications, treatments, and natural remedies that can...
Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Learn about osteoarthritis and exercises that relieve knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness and strengthen the knee joint and...
Low Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Relief
Do you suffer from low back pain? Watch this slideshow to see common triggers of lower back pain and what kind of treatments you...
Chronic Pain Syndrome: Treatment and Management for CPS
What is chronic pain syndrome (CPS)? See causes, symptoms and treatment options including medications. Learn about pain...
How Does Acupuncture Work? Benefits, Needles, Definition
What is acupuncture? How does acupuncture work? Does acupuncture hurt? Learn various acupuncture points, the definition of...
11 Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief
One of the best low back pain treatments is exercise. Learn more about low back pain exercises--what works, and what doesn't....
Pain Management: 15 Easy Ways to Reduce Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be a symptom of many conditions, including arthritis, headaches, and others. Comprehensive pain management...
Related Disease Conditions
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...
Lower Back Pain
There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae,...
Elbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and...
Acute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee...
Coccydynia (Tailbone Pain)
Coccydynia is an inflammation of the bony area (tailbone or coccyx) located between the buttocks. Coccydynia is associated with...
Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)
Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain....
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to...
Pain Management: Musculoskeletal Pain
Natural menopause is the permanent ending of menstruation that is not brought on by any type of medical treatment. For women...
Cancer pain results from the tumor pressing on nerves or invading bones or organs. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy,...
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive...
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
Sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include...
Foot pain may be caused by injuries (sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures), diseases (diabetes, Hansen disease, and gout),...
A broken foot is a common injury. There are 26 bones in the foot, and these bones can be broken (fractured) in a variety of...
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Shoulder and neck pain may be caused by bursitis, a pinched nerve, whiplash, tendinitis, a herniated disc, or a rotator cuff...
Kidney Pain (Location, Symptoms, Relief)
Kidney pain has a variety of causes and symptoms. Infection, injury, trauma, bleeding disorders, kidney stones, and less common...
Arthritis, bursitis, IT band syndrome, fracture, and strain are just some of the causes of hip pain. Associated symptoms and...
Migraine vs. Headache: Differences and Similarities
Headaches are the most common reason why a person goes to the doctor or other healthcare professional for treatment. There are...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- codeine (for Pain)
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen, Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Vicodin HP, Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, No
- clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS)
- hydrocodone and ibuprofen, Vicoprofen
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- hydrocodone/homatropine (Hycodan [discontinued] Tussigon)
- Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone
- Dilaudid vs. Percocet for Pain
Prevention & Wellness
- N. Carolina Sees Alarming Spike in Heart Infections Among Opioid Users
- Despite Opioid Crisis, Most Patients Want the Drugs for Post-Op Pain
- Push-Button Pain Meds Curb Need for Opioids After C-Section: Study
- Don't Blame Obamacare for the Opioid Crisis: Study
- A Couple's Tough Trek Back From Opioid Addiction
- ER Staffers Under Assault. Blame the Opioid Crisis.
- Coffee Shop Workers on Front Lines of Opioid Crisis
- Opioid Overdose Crisis May Have Begun Decades Ago
- Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors
- Opioid Crisis Driving Decline in U.S. Life Expectancy: CDC
- Drug Users Trying to Stay Ahead of Deadly Fentanyl
- U.S. Senate Passes Opioids Bill
- New Treatment Approved for Opioid Dependence
- 'No Documented Reason' for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: Study
- Naloxone Nasal Spray Works Best to Stop Opioid OD: Study
- Oxycontin's Maker Now Selling Drug to Curb Opioid Addiction
- Surgeons Recommend Fewer Opioid Pills After Nose Jobs
- Opium Poppy Genome Research May Aid Painkiller Production
- Babies of Opioid-Addicted Moms May Struggle in School
- Warning Letters Target Illegal Online Sales of Opioid Meds: FDA
- U.S. Overdose Deaths Reach Record High
- More Opioid Users Getting Treatment Since Medicaid Expansion
- Doctors Write Fewer Opioid Scripts After Learning of Overdose Death
- Opioid Addicts Turning to Unapproved Antidepressant to Get High
- As Opioid Epidemic Rages, Painkiller Prescriptions Don't Drop
- Most Seniors Uninformed on Opioid Use
- Majority in U.S. Support Medical Pot, Think It Could Fight Opioid Crisis
- Opioids Before Joint Replacement Tied to Worse Recovery
- Sprained Ankle? Opioid Rx More Likely in Some States Than Others
- Where Are Opioid Painkillers Prescribed the Most?
- Could Botox Cousin Combat the Opioid Epidemic?
- Resetting E-Prescriptions for Opioids Helps Curb Use: Study
- Opioids Given Too Easily to Children: Study
- Chronic Pain Patients Ask FDA to Ease Opioid Prescribing Restrictions
- Medical Marijuana a Hit With Seniors
- Anti-seizure Meds Won't Ease Low Back Pain
- Death Certificate Data May Miss Many Opioid ODs: Study
- Risky Prescribing Boosts Opioid Death Risk
- Trump Carried Counties With High Opioid Use: Study
- Have Insurers Played a Role in Opioid Crisis?
- If Opioid Addicts Survive OD, Other Hazards Lie Ahead: Study
- Meds Can Cut Deaths From Opioid Abuse, But Too Few Get Them
- When DEA Cracked Down on Opioids, Abusers Moved to Black Market: Study
- First Generic Under-the-Tongue Opioid Addiction Treatment Approved by FDA
- Stigma of Safe Needle Exchanges Lingers Despite Opioid Epidemic
- Patients on Opioids OK With Lower Doses
- Opioid Antidote Naloxone Recalled
- Opioids Behind 1 in 5 Deaths of Young U.S. Adults
- Pot, Opioids Now Rival Alcohol as Factor in Driver Deaths
- FDA Approves First Non-Opioid for Withdrawal
- 6 States Sue Opioid Maker Purdue, Claiming Company Helped Spur Overdoses
- Opioid Makers' Perks to Docs Tied to More Prescriptions
- Hospitals Should, and Could, Avoid IV Opioids: Study
- Hit Hard by Opioid Crisis, Appalachian States Expand Clean-Needle Programs
- Walmart Announces New Measures to Cut Opioid Abuse
- Programs That Monitor Opioid Painkillers May Drive Some to Heroin
- Racial Divide Narrows in Opioid Prescribing in U.S.
- Fentanyl Now Drives Drug Overdose Deaths in U.S.
- Opioid Crisis Means More Newborns With Hepatitis C, But Few Get Tested
- Another Harm From the Opioid Epidemic: More Heart Infections
- Advil & Tylenol Better Than Opioids for Dental Pain
- Many Opioid Overdoses May Be Suicides
- Addictive Opioids Still Overprescribed After Surgery: Study
- Safety Info for Opioids Found Lacking
- Organs From Opioid OD Victims Are Saving Lives: Study
- Doctors Curbing First-Time Prescriptions for Opioids
- Opioid Painkiller Hashtags Blocked on Instagram
- Even Toddlers Endangered by Opioids, Other Addictive Drugs
- Dance Club Scene Rife With Opioid Abuse
- Addicts Should Be Trained to Give OD Antidote, Study Finds
- More People Need to Carry Opioid OD Antidote: U.S. Surgeon General
- Older Americans Support Medical Marijuana: Poll
- ER Docs Prescribe More Opioids Than They Realize
- Fentanyl Fuels Latest Spike in Opioid OD Deaths
- Protect Your Child From Opioid Poisoning
- U.S. Opioid ODs Cluster in Centers of Poverty
- Managing Pain With Fewer Opioids After Joint Replacement
- Opioid ODs Outpacing Other 'Deaths of Despair'
- Certain Teens More Likely to Get Hooked on Opioids
- Opioids Not Best Option for Back Pain, Arthritis, Study Finds
- ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Soaring: CDC
- More U.S. Kids Landing in ICU From Opioids
- New FDA Guidelines to Expand Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
- Xanax, Valium Looking Like America's Next Drug Crisis
- Some Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get Relief
- Fatal Opioid ODs Drop for People Treated While Jailed
- Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study
- Senator Wants Law Changed After 60 Minutes Story on Opioid Crisis
- CVS to Restrict Opioid Painkiller Prescription Amounts
- Prescription Painkillers Fueling Overdose Cases in ERs, Study Finds
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.