Un-comfortably numb. Is this right?
August 16, 2013 12:41 PM Subscribe
Stupid question filter: how are (prescribed) narcotic painkillers supposed
to make you feel? Is painkiller a misnomer? Do they really reduce / relieve your pain?
posted by falldownpaul to health & fitness (42 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Question about the intended effects of opiates and other prescribed pain medication:
I've been saddled with several chronic, degenerative health issues that generate a lot of pain (yes, it's as fun as it sounds!). At the same time, I have a raging allergy to or intolerance of prescribed narcotics.
Doctors have tried everything to give me some relief - unsuccessfully. For those of you who might ask, the list includes: Vicodin, Percocet, Endocet, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Morphine (yes, I'm aware that some of these are probably trade names for the same thing) and on and on.
No help. My reaction to all of these medications ranges from "general sick feeling" with dizziness, headache and light vomiting to blinding headache that lasts for days, hallucinations, and oh-god-when-can-I-get-up-off-this-bathroom-floor?
Oh, and the pain remains. Always.
(Needless to say, I do not keep taking them. They make me feel horrible and I give up after a couple of pills. And no, you can't have the leftovers.)
All of this is background to explain the following: I have no idea how painkillers are supposed to make you feel. They've only ever made me feel sick-er.
This week, my doctor gave me a prescription for Tramadol for back pain, something I've never tried before. The results - not too bad. I feel fuzzed out, itchy, only mildly nauseous, with a headache I can tolerate.
But the pain remains.
I mentioned this to a co-worker today, and he said that this is how narcotic painkillers work. They do not block or eliminate pain... they just make you "high" enough to forget about it for awhile. That fuzzed out feeling is supposed to distract me from the pain, he says.
For those of you who have utilized these medications for pain, is he right? Do you actually obtain any relief at all? or is that not the goal?