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What are the risks of using opioid analgesics to treat pain?

Opioid analgesics, such as morphine and codeine, are the primary treatment for acute pain. A person taking these drugs for the first time may experience nausea, itchiness, and sedation. These side effects can be amplified for older people. No one should drive or perform dangerous physical activity under the influence of opioid analgesics. If the sedation effect is overwhelming, stimulants may be prescribed to compensate. Many people believe that opioid analgesics are dangerously addictive. However, this risk is probably overstated; most patients without a history of substance abuse can safely take this medication.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.