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Osteoarthritis and Opioids

Written by sshowalter, maria_rn, ColleenO.

Effect of Opioids on Osteoarthritis

Opioids describes a category of drugs that work by acting on the central nervous system to relieve pain. Opioids can be very effective but is known to possibly cause dependence.

Commonly prescribed Opioids include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Morphine (MS-Contin)
  • Hydrocodone (Dilaudid)
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
  • Tapentadol (Nucynta)

Read more details about Opioids.

Side effects

The common side effects of opioid medications include: euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, constipation, itching, dizziness, and respiratory depression. You should inform your health care provider if you experience any side effects.

Warnings

Long term use of opioids can result in physical or mental dependence on the drug. A person who has become physically dependent to opioids may develop withdrawal symptoms when the medicine is discontinued. It is also possible to build tolerance to opioids when they are used for a long period. Later on, the body would need larger and larger doses for pain relief.

These drugs must be taken exactly as directed. Consult your doctor if you notice that the drugs fail to reduce your symptoms. Do not share these drugs with others because the drug may have a completely different effect on the person for whom it was not prescribed.

Opioid medications increase the effects of alcohol. Anyone taking these drugs are advised to stay away from alcoholic beverages.

References

Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/ .

Conn’s Current Therapy . 54th ed. WB Saunders Company; 2002.

Drug Facts and Comparisons . 56th ed. Facts & Comparisons; 2001.

Health Library editorial staff and contributors. Medications for fibromyalgia. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=81 . Updated August 6, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2010.

Hydrocodone and acetaminophen. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=81 . Updated March 19, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2010.

Lexi-PALS. Duloxetine. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=81. Updated March 19, 2010. Accessed November 15, 2010.

Manek NJ, Lane NE. Osteoarthritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management. American Family Physician . 2000;51(6). Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000315/1795.html.

Mayo Clinic. Osteoarthritis: treatments and drugs. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayocli... . Updated July 8, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2010.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .

Propoxyphene. EBSCO Health Library, Lexi-PALS website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=81 . Updated March 22, 2010. Accessed August 27, 2010.

3/17/2007 http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Yelland MJ, Nickles CJ, McNairn N, Del Mar CB, Schluter PJ, Brown RM. Celecoxib compared with sustained-release paracetamol for osteoarthritis: a series of n-of-1 trials. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007;46:135-140. Epub 2006 Jun.

2/7/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Underwood M, Ashby D, Cross P, et al. Advice to use topical or oral ibuprofen for chronic knee pain in older people: randomised controlled trial and patient preference study. BMJ. 2008;336:138-142. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.

11/15/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: US Food and Drug

Administration. FDA clears Cymbalta to treat chronic musculoskeletal pain. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov.... Published November 4, 2010. Accessed November 12, 2010.

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