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 this 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 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
difficult or labored breathing
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
fast, pounding, racing, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
pounding in the ears
swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness
Abdominal or stomach pain
chest pain or discomfort
decrease in consciousness
decrease in urine volume
difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
difficulty with sleeping
difficulty with swallowing
drowsiness to profound coma
irregular, slow, or shallow breathing
joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
redness of the skin
trouble in holding or releasing urine
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
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)
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
nausea or vomiting
relaxed and calm
sensation of spinning
Acid or sour stomach
excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
feeling of warmth
feeling sad or empty
full or bloated feeling
lack of appetite
loss of interest or pleasure
pressure in the stomach
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
stomach discomfort or upset
swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
cracked, dry, scaly skin
difficulty with thinking or concentrating
disturbed color perception
false or unusual sense of well-being
halos around lights
loss of vision
nightmares or unusually vivid dreams
overbright appearance of lights
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.