Dr. Ryan Shephard: Check out These Alternatives to Opioids
Chances are that when you turned on the news at some point last year, you saw a report about “the opioid crisis” at one point or another. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the abuse of opioids as a health emergency nationwide in 2017, with over two million people addicted to these prescription painkillers. Fortunately, if you are planning to undergo surgery, such as hip replacement surgery, there are multiple safer alternatives for managing your pain. Here is a glimpse at some of the top alternatives to opioids in 2019, according to Dr. Ryan Shephard.
First, rather than using narcotics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, oxycodone (Percocet), and morphine, you can try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/ ibuprofen available over the counter. These drugs include Excedrin, Advil, and Motrin, for example. These drugs work by decreasing inflammation, which is the cause of a great deal of pain following surgery.
Second, if you are suffering from moderate or mild pain, acetaminophen can be immensely helpful. Examples of acetaminophen include Panadol and Tylenol. The great thing about a drug like Tylenol is that you can take it and Advil, for example, together with no side effects.
Third, you can use non-opioid drugs prescribed by your doctor, which you can also use with Tylenol or Motrin. These types of drugs include tricyclic antidepressants, which can be helpful for treating nerve-related pain. A bonus is that it can help with treating depression — a condition that is considered to be a huge addiction risk factor. Other drugs that fall under this category include gabapentinoids, which can help with calming down nerves that are over-firing. Your doctor can go over all of these opioid alternatives and help you to determine which ones may work best for you.