Advertisement

How can I prevent breathing problems caused by opioid medications?

Travis M. Hendry, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Respiratory depression caused by opioid medications can be prevented by doing the following:

  • Tell your doctor about ALL medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any of these signs associated with sleep apnea: pauses in breathing during sleep, snoring, high blood pressure, or tiredness during the day.
  • Tell those you live with that you are starting a medication that can affect your breathing. Ask them to watch for decreased breathing or the inability to wake up.
  • If breathing problems happen, they should call 911. Health care providers can inject a medication to reverse the problem.

Continue Learning about Opiate Agonists

What medications can cause breathing problems when taken with opioids?
Travis M. Hendry, MDTravis M. Hendry, MD
Medications that interact with opioids to decrease breathing include clonazepam (Klonopin), alpr...
More Answers
What are alternatives to opioid pain medication?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Pain medicine is a slippery slope for most. Both doctors and patients should give serious considerat...
More Answers
What should I know before taking opioids?
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MDDr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Before prescribing an opioid for low back pain, your doctor should order a urine test to check for o...
More Answers
How will my doctor ensure I don’t become addicted to opioid medication?
UCLA HealthUCLA Health
There is no clear way to ensure that you won’t become addicted to opioids if you are taking them for...
More Answers

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.