How to Cope with the Side Effects of Post-op Drugs

Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 30, 2015

post-op pain relief

Post-surgical pain is often controlled with opioid painkillers. But these drugs can have serious side effects. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the common prescription pain meds that your doctor may put you on post-op. We’ll also talk about the potential side effects of these drugs, and offer some tips for coping with those side effects.

Post-Op Pain Killers

Prescription pain killers are often necessary to cope with the initial pain after a spine surgery. Although many spine procedures are minimally invasive, they still require incisions. All surgeries involve at least some level of trauma, after all. The surgical wounds will need some time to heal. To combat patient pain during the recovery period, your doctor may prescribe any of the following prescription pain killers:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone

These opioids are often combined with over the counter Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is less effective by itself than opioids, but it is also much less addictive. Sometimes these pain killers can have adverse side effects. Here are a few of the possible side effects of these pain meds:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

Tips for Coping with Side Effects

Here are a few tips and tricks for dealing with the side effects of these post-op pain killers:

  • Listen to your doctor! Don’t try mixing your prescribed meds with anything else that your doctor hasn’t already approved.
  • Follow your prescription. Diverging from your schedule can set your situation back and stall recovery.
  • Communicate with your doctor. If you are experiencing severe side effects from a drug, tell your doctor and ask about your options.

Post-op pain can be difficult, and it can take some time to resolve. However, if you’re prepared and follow these tips, you should start feeling better fairly quickly after surgery. As always, if you have any questions at any point after your surgery, be sure to contact your surgeon’s office.

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