Have you ever wondered what drug is known to cause the most side effects? Opioids are used for acute pain relief and in patients with terminal diseases like cancer. Other people use opioids because of the euphoric effects. Long-term use of opioids can lead to dependency and addiction. A large amount of side effects accompaniment them.
Opioids which are only available legally with a prescription. The most common ones prescribed by physicians are morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Many people, however, take the street drug heroin of which they obtain illegally from dealers. Long term use leads to addiction and many physical problems. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans die every year from opioid overdoses.
Common Side Effects from Opioids
Like most drugs some side effects are more common than others. The most common side effects from opioids include:
These can occur even when taken while following the directions of a doctor.
Other common side effects that can develop while taking it include:
- Dry mouth
- Respiratory depression
- Mental fog
While these may not be life threatening, they are uncomfortable to deal with on a daily basis.
Long Term Side Effects of Opioids
People who use opioids for longer use are at risk to develop more serious side effects. These side effects can cause health issues such as opioid-induced constipation which can lead to a blockage or a perforation of the bowels which might require surgery and become life-threatening. Others may develop narcotic bowel syndrome. With this condition people develop acute pain that worsens over time in their abdomen. With this condition they will also experience constipation, nausea, delayed gastric emptying, and bloating.
They can also develop opioid-induced hyperalgesia. This condition is where people become hypersensitive to pain which is why most people who take opioids by prescription had prescribed them. After long-term use of opioids most people may experience these other side effects:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased risk of a heart attack
- Hormonal problems
- Weak bones
- Muscle rigidity
Opioids affect many major organs within the body that control many bodily functions. All these conditions are serious if left untreated and can become life-threatening in some cases.
Further Side Effects and Risk from Opioids
Some people can have allergic reactions from opioids and experience a variety of side effects associated with it. If you experience any of these side effects, you should seek immediate medical attention. These include:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face, or throat
- Difficulty breathing
Addiction causes you to experience many side effects if you go into withdraw whether it is because you are out the drug or trying to detox and get off it. Here are some of the most common side effects from withdrawal:
- Body aches
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing
- Elevated blood pressure
These can be quite uncomfortable to deal with while detoxing. Overdosing is a real problem with using opioids since thousands of people die each year to overdoses. There are some specific side effects to watch for that indicate a person has taken too much of an opioid. They include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive sleepiness
- Cold, clammy skin
- Weak or limp muscles
- Slowed or stopped breathing
- Snoring or gurgling sounds
- Loss of consciousness
- Pinpoint pupils in the eyes
Anyone experiencing these side effects needs medical help immediately to prevent possible death. People who already have certain health issues such as sleep apnea, COPD, Asthma, and heart issues are especially vulnerable to developing respiratory issues while taking opioids. People who mix alcohol with opioids are at an even higher risk of overdosing.
Getting off opioids without help is extremely difficult. Treatment centers can help you deal with the withdraws and help you figure out the best process for detoxing. If you are ready to take the steps necessary to get your life back by ending the vicious cycle caused from addiction, please call us at 844-639-8371. We have counselors standing by twenty-four hours a day ready to speak with you and help you find your next steps.