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 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 if 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 or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
decrease in the frequency of urination
decrease in urine volume
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
shortness of breath
unusual tiredness or weakness
Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
difficult or labored breathing
irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
loss of appetite
muscle pain or cramps
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
slow to respond
tightness in the chest
Incidence not known
Bluish lips or skin
low blood pressure or pulse
slowing of the heartbeat
very slow breathing
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:
Bloated or full feeling
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
troubled breathing with exertion
unable to sleep
unusual bleeding or bruising
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
chest pain or discomfort
fear or nervousness
feeling unusually cold
lower abdominal or stomach pain or pressure
pounding in the ears
pressure in the stomach
slow or irregular heartbeat
swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
Incidence not known
trouble with coordination
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.