What You Need To Know About COPD and Pain Killers

It is well-known fact that a person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) or other related diseases are prescribed medications like steroids, inhalers, and nebulizers regulate and normalize the breathing. In addition, other drugs or painkillers to control pain such as opioids may also be prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain. Some patients are known to opt for oxygen therapy following a doctor’s recommendation.

Observe what type of drug is being taken for relief of pain

According to the latest study in the European Respiratory Journal, it has been noted that elderly persons with COPD who started taking painkillers were twice as liable of dying from a respiratory-related sickness compared to a person not using painkillers. On their research on more potent opioids, the prospect of dying due to a respiratory-related illness was five times greater in new users in comparison with non-opioid users.

As per the research conducted on 130,000 Canadians above 65 and older with COPD, it was found that 75% were prescribed painkillers. The doctors were very concerned about this as this age group were supposed to be actually sensitive to the good and bad effect of sedatives. It was found that opioids such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone were given to patients to relieve chronic muscle and bone pain, continuous cough and inability to sleep soundly. It was also found that painkillers were prescribed for patients using inhalers due to shortness of breath.

In addition, more research has pointed out that although these drugs may give little relief it could also be dangerous by affecting breathing and lung health in those who have previously been struck with chronically-compromised lungs.


Doctors’ Action

Doctors started monitoring whether giving less potent or lower dosage opioids would lower the dangers. Unfortunately, it was found that respiratory-related complications were still high and even deaths were reported among new opioid users.

Most primary care doctors often prescribe opioids to patients who need quick relief for the chronic pain and breathing issues. However, doctors should let their patients know the difference between easing symptoms and the hidden damage that will affect their long-term health


Common Opioid Medications

Codeine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Percocet, Endocet, and Lenoltec are some opioids related medications.

Serious Side Effects

• Confusion
• Memory impairment
• Falls and fracture
• Abdominal pain
• Constipation
• Nausea and vomiting
• Fatigue
• Sleep apnea
• Respiratory issues
• Depression

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Risk Worthy

Although using painkillers for COPD is probably beneficial, the risks are more than rewarding. On the other hand, there is hope in the form of stem cell therapy and stem cell research for COPD or other lung disease patients which have shown productiveness in responding to the symptoms of lung disease as well as its growth.