Weighing the Benefits and Side Effects of Opioids
Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. And living in pain can make everything in your life harder. Over time, it can have a huge impact on your quality of life. Many people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers, but for severe pain, those may not be enough. Eventually, it might be time to turn to prescription painkillers.
Opioids are an effective and popular prescription option for relieving many types of pain—whether it’s temporary, like pain experienced after surgery or during cancer treatment, or chronic, like lingering pain from an accident or an unknown cause. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 5 to 8 million Americans use opioids for chronic pain. Opioids are a class of drugs that include oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicodone), hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER), codeine, morphine (Astramorph, Avinza, Kadian), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora), and others. They are derived from the poppy plant and their use dates back centuries.
Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced
or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use
of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.