Concerns about side effects of narcotics


Nausea and vomiting

Sedation and confusion

Respiratory depression

Nausea and vomiting

Any of the narcotic pain relievers (opioids) may cause nausea and vomiting, especially when a person first begins to take these medications, or when the dose is increased. Narcotics cause nausea in two ways: they have a direct effect on the brain center that causes nausea and they slow down the digestive system.

Often, nausea from narcotics lasts only a few days and goes away on its own. If your nausea is mild, a "watch and wait" approach may be best for a short time. However, many people need to use anti-nausea medications to control more severe or continuing nausea and vomiting. There are many effective medications that can be prescribed to control these side effects. Be sure to discuss any continuing problems with your health care team.

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