Opioid medications are prescribed to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. These drugs require proper dosing and routine follow-up to ensure patients are managing their pain well and tolerating the medications. If this care is lacking, you may find yourself with an injury like one of those listed below. However, even with strict care, these strong medications can have lasting, negative effects. Drug manufacturers are now required to provide warnings, but sometimes these are not enough.
One of the most common injuries associated with prescription opioid use is addiction. These medications are highly addictive, and a doctor should closely monitor their use. Over time, a patient will build up a tolerance to the medication and eventually need higher doses to experience the same pain relief. Family and friends should be aware that you are taking pain meds so they can watch for signs of addiction and help if needed.
Accidental overdoses can happen for many reasons. Often, when a patient has built up a high tolerance for these medications and is trying to find relief from the pain, they may take too much. Once addiction has become out of control, patients might turn to other methods of using their prescribed medication. Snorting or injecting an opioid is much more dangerous, especially if it is a delayed-release medication.
Serotonin syndrome occurs when the levels of serotonin in the body are too high. Serotonin is a chemical that is produced naturally in the body to maintain a healthy nervous system. Elevated levels cause many of the classic signs of opioid addiction. Mild cases usually include shivering and restlessness, but extremely high levels of serotonin can cause a fever, seizures and other serious symptoms. If severe and not treated, serotonin syndrome could result in a coma or death.
The adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol that is essential to a healthy cardiovascular system. It works to maintain a steady heart rhythm and blood pressure. Also, it ensures your metabolism processes carbohydrates, proteins and fats so they can be used by the body. In some cases, the glands may not produce enough aldosterone, which regulates the amount of sodium the body retains. The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency can include irritability and stomach upset to hypoglycemia and joint pain.
The worst injury possible resulting from an opioid prescription addiction is death. Accidental overdoses are more common than you’d think, and the risk of death increases if there is at least one other drug present. Opioid addiction frequently puts a sufferer in harm’s way when hanging out with the wrong crowd. It can also cause a psychological spiral leading to intentional death.
When seeking relief for the damages caused by opioid pain medications, the costs of drug treatment and rehabilitation may be taken care of, so you or your loved one can start repairing the damage. To learn more about possible compensation for the serious effects of opioid addiction, call or text (813) 254-7119 to schedule your free consultation.
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