What should I watch for?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take the medicine for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
There are different types of narcotic medicines (opiates). If you take more than one type at the same time or you are taking another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Abdominal or stomach pain
black, tarry stools
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
bloody or cloudy urine
body aches or pain
cough producing mucus
difficult or labored breathing
difficult, burning, or painful urination
difficulty with breathing
dizziness or lightheadedness
frequent urge to urinate
increase in heart rate
joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
loss of appetite
loss of voice
lower back or side pain
pain, redness, or swelling in the arm or leg
pounding in the ears
rapid weight gain
redness of the skin
runny or stuffy nose
shortness of breath
slow or fast heartbeat
sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing
swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands, or feet
tightness in the chest
tingling of the hands or feet
troubled breathing or swallowing
troubled breathing with exertion
ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
unpleasant breath odor
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
vomiting of blood
yellow eyes or skin
Incidence not known
Irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Acid or sour stomach
burning feeling in the chest or stomach
change in taste
confusion about identity, place, and time
difficulty with moving
drooping upper eyelids
flushed, dry skin
fruit-like breath odor
irritation or soreness of the mouth
lack or loss of strength
loss of taste
muscle pain or stiffness
pain in the arms or legs
pain in the rectum
stomach discomfort or upset
tenderness in the stomach area
trouble with sleeping
unable to sleep
unexplained weight loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.