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A 46-year-old female asked:

Does taking narcotic therapy for degenerative disk disease effect my organs?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Rock
Pain Management 39 years experience
Opioid side effects: Apart from the obvious issues like cognitive impairment, impaired responses to respiratory and cardiovscular conditions and liver damage, longterm narcotics usually rot your teeth and inhibit the body's production of sex hormones (especially testosterone) leading to loss of lobido and weakening of the musculoskeletal system.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. David Rosenfeld
Pain Management 29 years experience
Long term opioid use has consequences. As many of the short acting opioids (Lortab, percocet etc) have tylenol in them the potential for end organ damage exists. As pointed out by Dr. Rock there is clear evidence that long term use of opioids causes decreased testosterone.
Jan 18, 2012
Dr. Gregg Albers
Addiction Medicine 43 years experience
Opioid side effects: Most patients with chronic back pain, that cannot get relief with physical therapy, physical modalities such as heat, ice, massage, and milder pain medications, over the counter or prescribed, are prescribed narcotics. Mild doses that are monitored by your physician will cause temporary drowsiness, constipation. Higher doses, adding street bought medication, can present serious side effects.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Dec 28, 2016
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