Pain Killers Can Be A Prescription For Disaster
If there is one time to get scared, it is when a drug company, a government agency, a popular magazine article or – heaven forbid – your doctor says a metabolite is “better” than the drug it came from.
I have seen a lot of folks on it recently.There are a lot of pain-killing drugs, potentially wildly addictive, out there and being used for “benign” pain. It has long been proven that if you think about something you don’t hurt so much, but even I will admit there is nothing faster and easier than a pain pill, especially if you don’t take time to read or don’t take seriously when it comes to reading warning labels and such.
This is oxymorphone – sold under the commercial name Opana. Me, I would be scared of anything that even sounded that much like morphine. But well, that’s me, who thinks the best treatment for pain is dancing.It is available in every imaginable route, but outpatient prescriptions are going to be oral and go through the liver. Half-life 7 to 9 hours or so, but it can be longer. Analgesia to 8 hours, little gel bits formed at the pH in the duodenum; variable metabolites — let’s just say the stuff can be around for a while and it is fairly unpredictable.
I try not to be sexist, but I’ve got to admit I did not think of this as a “Men’s” health issue deserving of being featured in Men’s Health magazine. I suppose guys go out to party more, and I suppose “party” really is a synonym for excessive alcohol consumption in times and places where I could not be expected to hang out.
Okay, so men are more likely to abuse this stuff, although we have known for a long time women, even in Ohio, are more likely to walk out of a doctor’s office with a pain medicine. Poor, dear, little help-seeking women.
But wait, there’s more.
If someone is taking drugs that are metabolized through this same system, and/or inhibit it, we are maybe going to toxic levels.Nobody thanked me very much when, during a very brief tenure at an HMO, I noticed someone was getting toxic on oxycontin (morphine) taken simultaneous to Prozac (fluoxetine). I cut her dose of morphine and thus her analgesia (pain relief), although I probably saved her life as her respirations were on the slow side of normal. I was glad she did not own a weapon, for she had thought of suicide for herself at one point, and was figuring out what to do to me. She was a little too disorganized to file a complaint.
No good deed goes unpunished.People with chronic pain problems are often depressed — the relevant fibers cross in the frontal lobe.
Be afraid — be very afraid.
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