Some common narcotic pain medications include codeine, hydrocodone, mepiridine, morphine and oxycodone, notes MedlinePlus. Other narcotic pain medicines include fentanyl, hydromorphone and tramadol. Doctors recommend these drugs only when pain is severe and does not respond to other types of pain medications.
Narcotics, also known as opioid pain medications, work by fastening to receptors in the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body to block pain messages and minimize pain, explains WebMD. Narcotic medications have potential for abuse and addiction, and overdose can result in death. People should only use these drugs as per a doctor’s prescription, and should not use them for longer than three to four months, according to MedlinePlus.
The side effects of narcotic pain medications include constipation, drowsiness and nausea and vomiting, states WebMD. A person who is taking herbal supplements, prescription medicines or over-the-counter drugs should inform his doctor. Narcotic medications can be hazardous when taken with alcohol or certain medications such as sleeping pills, antidepressants and antihistamines. When a person uses opioid drugs for an extended period of time, they can develop dependency. Withdrawal symptoms such as muscle pain, anxiety and irritability can result when a person suddenly stops using these drugs.