Narcotic Pain Medicines used for moderate pain include:

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  • Codeine: Sometimes combined with aspirin or acetaminophen
  • Hydrocodone: Lortab and Vicodin (combined with acetaminophen), Lorcet Zydone (combined with acetaminophen)
  • Oxycodone: Percodan (combined with aspirin), Percocet, Tylox (combined with acetaminophen)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana): Similar to morphine, includes extended-release form for around-the-clock treatment of pain

Opioids used for severe pain include:

  • Morphine
  • Hydromorphone: Dilaudid
  • Levorphanol: Levo-Dromoran
  • Methadone: Dolophine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Tapentadol: Nucynta

Long-acting opioids are generally used for IC patients who experience unremitting or frequently recurring pain. These long-acting medications are not combined with other medications such as acetaminophen or aspirin, thus reducing potential problems or side effects. They are controlled-release, meaning that they require less of a maintenance schedule, as the dosage is gradually released into the patient’s system. IC patients receiving long-acting opioids should be supplied with a fast-acting opioid “rescue drug” (e.g. Vicodin, Lorcet. etc.) for breakthrough pain, which occurs unpredictably, or when the long-acting opioid starts to wear off, prior to the time of the next scheduled dose. Examples of controlled release opioid preparations:

  • Long-acting morphine: MS Contin, Oramorph, Opana
  • Long-acting oxycodone: OxyContin
  • Levorphanol: Levo-Dromoran
  • Methadone: Dolophine
  • Fentanyl: Duragesic patch

Possible side effects: constipation, nausea, itching, edema, sedation, muscle spasms and possible respiratory depression. Ask your healthcare provider for advice on reducing side effects. Tolerance and physical dependency may occur.

The American Academy of Family Physicians mentions these potential warning signs of opioid medication overdose:

  • Stumbling while walking.
  • Feeling dizzy.
  • Slurring your speech.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Slow breathing and heartbeat.
  • Blue nails or lips.
  • Pale or clammy skin.
  • Feeling excessively drowsy or having trouble staying alert.
  • Having trouble waking from sleep.

Revised Tuesday, May 26th, 2015