Opioid narcotics can be a treatment solution for migraines, but are highly addictive and under regulated. If you’re addicted to opiods already or are worried about potential addiction, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind.
Migraines & Opioid Addiction
Why are opioids recommended for migraine pain?
Opioids are prescribed for acute, moderate-to-severe migraines. Popular opioids are codeine (such as Tylenol-3), Lortab, oxycodone or hydrocodone. The pills are self-administered. Opioids are fast acting for severe pain.
What makes opioids so addictive?
Yes, opioids are fast acting and enormously effective for severe, but they wear off quickly, and activate addiction centers in the brain. This means you may eventually need more and more to get the same effect. Opioids can also cause euphoria, which means not only does the pain go away — but you feel better than you did even without the pain. This feeling doesn’t last.
If I’m prescribed opioids, how do I take them safely?
Unfortunately, many people who become addicted are taking their prescriptions exactly as prescribed. Taking opioids safely means speaking with your doctor before you fill your prescription. Is your doctor up-to-date with the latest opioid dosage research? Did your doctor try other medications, such as triptans? Once you have your prescription and feel confident in your own research and your doctor’s research, take your medication as prescribed. Note your symptoms and feelings while taking the opioids. Share any concerns with your doctor.
I’ve become addicted to opioids. What can I do?
First, remember there’s nothing shameful about addiction. Opioid addiction is common, and you’re not alone. Tell a trusted friend or family member about your concerns. Tell your doctor. The right doctor will not shame you or make you feel bad about your addiction. If they do, you need a new doctor. Don’t stop taking your opioids cold turkey. This can have devastating, dangerous side effects. Your doctor will develop an opioid withdrawal treatment plan for you. Keep in mind the rebound migraines may be a symptom of withdrawing from opioids. Find a support group, whether online and in your community.
Opioids can be effective for migraine treatment, but you need to be vigilant. You also need to know yourself: do you have a predisposition to addiction? Have you tried other treatments first? Knowing yourself and having a trusted doctor will help you navigate this path.
Our Team: We are Here to Help
We are a small, dedicated app development team that wants you to better understand your migraines and triggers. Everyone on the team has lived with migraines at some point in their lives. We are your community, and we’re here to help. Reach out any time with questions. [email protected].
As always — please seek the advice of a doctor for medical questions. Our app team cannot give medical advice.
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