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Narcotic pain medications are drugs prescribed for pain reduction. They affect the brain's ability to receive pain messages and maintain alertness. Narcotics are addictive and can cause significant sedation. They should be used only for short periods of time.

How are they taken?
These drugs can be taken by mouth or by injection.

What are the side effects?
Narcotics may produce dizziness, agitation, fatigue, dry mouth, and headaches. Some less common side effects include abdominal pain, constipation, sleep disorders, depression, skin irritations, and confusion. Your doctor is the best source of information should you experience physical problems while taking a narcotic.

Are there any precautions?
Narcotic pain medications should be taken only under the supervision of your doctor. Inform your doctor of all drug allergies and other medications you are taking. Narcotics should not be used if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or have certain medical conditions, such as asthma, kidney or liver disease. You should never drive or operate machinery under the influence of a narcotic.