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Narcotic Pain Management


Why is it important to manage my pain?

It is important to manage your pain so you can rest and heal. It will also help you return to your normal activities.

Why it is important that I take narcotic medicines as directed?

Too much narcotic medicine may be life-threatening. Some narcotic medicines also contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Too much of these medicines can cause liver or kidney damage, or stomach bleeding. Do not take any other medicines without asking your caregiver. You may need to take your pain medicine with food and avoid alcohol.

What are the side effects of narcotic medicines?

The most common side effect is constipation. Other side effects include nausea, sleepiness, and itchiness. Ask your caregiver how to manage your side effects.

What else can I do to help manage my pain?

Any of the following can be helpful if you have pain, and it is not time to take your pain medicine:

  • Do relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, listen to music, or read. These can help take your mind off your pain.
  • Apply heat or ice as directed.
  • Go to physical therapy as directed by your caregiver. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help decrease your pain.

When should I contact my caregiver?

  • Your pain gets worse or you have new pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I or someone close to me seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You cannot think clearly.
  • You are breathing slower than normal, or you have trouble breathing.
  • Your heart is beating slower than normal.
  • Your heart feels like it is jumping or fluttering.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You cannot be awakened.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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