The study find that the Patients who only briefly take opioid painkillers are still likely to face side effects, a new study shows. Dr. Raoul Daoust of Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal and colleagues study 386 adults who had been discharge from an emergency department with an opioid prescription; 80% of whom took at least one pill. More than half the patients who used opioids report feeling drowsy. Patients also report side effects like constipation, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting.

The Opioid painkillers

Overall, 79% of patients who used the painkillers said they experienced side effects that can be related to these drugs; compared to just 38% of patients who did not use opioids. The type of opioid being used seemed to affect patients differently. Dizziness; nausea and vomiting were more often associated with oxycodone than morphine, for example. Opioid-induced constipation was a particularly persistent problem in the new study.

“It was surprising to find that 38% of patients had constipation while consuming only a median of 10 morphine 5 mg pills during the first two weeks;” Daoust told Reuters Health in an email. The study, published online June 3 in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine; also found that older patients were more likely to experience constipation as a side effect. Dr. Benjamin Friedman; a professor of emergency medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York who was not involve in the new study, said certain people become habituated to some side effects over time, like drowsiness or dizziness.

Likely to experience constipation

But this is unlikely to be the case with constipation, Friedman said. Despite the risks and the side effects, Daoust believes that opioids should not be avoided entirely. Instead, he says, patients must be properly informed of the side effects they are likely to face and given advice on how to manage them, such as avoiding driving because of possible drowsiness, or taking laxatives to manage constipation. Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medication.

They can have serious side effects if you don’t use them correctly. For people who have an opioid addiction, their problem often started with a prescription. If you need to take opioids to control your pain, here are some ways to make sure you’re taking them as safely as possible. Opioid drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body. They tell your brain you’re not in pain. They are use to treat moderate to severe pain that may not respond well to other pain medications.