9 Potential Side Effects of Opioid Medications

Tylenol just not cutting it for your chronic pain? You may need something stronger.

Credit: Getty Images

prev 1 of 11 next

Pain med problems

Opioid drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin are among the most effective pain medications, but the likelihood of abuse and addiction has discouraged some doctors from prescribing them.

Pain doctors are starting to come around to prescribing opioids, says Roger Chou, MD, associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, in Portland. “If somebody’s at low risk [for addiction or abuse], opioids can be a reasonable option for chronic pain,” he says.

Today these medications are more readily prescribed, but they’re hardly risk-free. If you decide to take them, be on the lookout for these potential side effects.

Next: Addiction

» View All

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!