Non Opioid Alternatives: What To Use Instead Of Opioids Painkillers?

Are you considering changing your opioid medications to some other over the counter pain meds? Opioid medications are often recommended for severe acute pains, especially for cancer patients and those who experience post-surgery pains. Opioid prescriptions are approved for millions of Americans yearly for various incidents and health conditions. However, these narcotics often present problems for a number of people. It is essential to seek an alternative pain management regimen if you notice some side effects while on opioid prescriptions.

Even on safe opioid doses prescribed by a doctor, some individuals may develop side effects, escalated results, or drug interactions, primarily when used with other medications. Let’s look at some reasons for seeking an alternative to opioids.

Why Do People Need An Alternative To Opioid?

Opioids used as pain management medication are highly potent and function by attaching to receptors in the brain, gut, spinal cord, and other parts of the body. In doing this, the opioid blocks the communication of pain from any part of the body to the brain. The problem is that Opioids may also present with varying side effects such as dizziness, constipation, sleepiness, nausea, and dependency. In many cases, people who have built a high level of tolerance for opioids may require higher doses, which could lead to an overdose.

Symptoms of opioid overdose include slower heart rate, shallow breathing, and loss of consciousness. An overdose can be avoided if you stick to prescriptions or talk to a medical doctor about your experiences using opioids for pain. Your doctor is sure to provide you with a more suitable dosing schedule.

Those who prefer other pain management techniques and want to make that switch to either pharmaceutical, natural, or therapeutic alternatives should beware – Opioids should never be stopped abruptly. The effects of stopping opioids immediately can be dangerous; such a person might experience jittery nerves, anxiety, insomnia, and other severe withdrawal symptoms. The drug should be tapered off slowly to prevent health issues.

A significant reason why people may prefer a non-opioid pain medication is that opioids generally cause addiction. On frequent intake of the medication, the brain begins to think that it requires the composition of the drug to achieve normalcy, this results in addiction. Here are some other alternatives and non-narcotic pain meds.

Pharmaceutical Alternatives

There are many forms of nerve pain medication over the counter that one could purchase by prescription instead of opioids. Some safe non-opioid analgesics include:

  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Bayer (aspirin)
  • Motrin (Ibuprofen)
  • Steroids (Corticosteroids)
  • Neurostimulators
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Epidural injections

Natural Alternatives

Some individuals may prefer natural pain killers to pharmaceuticals due to risks of overdose, counter interactions, side effects, and other health issues that come with drugs. A natural pain reliever is mostly herbal. Some natural pain killers include:

  • CBD oil
  • Marijuana and Cannabinoids
  • White willow bark
  • Cloves
  • Chili peppers

There is still much more research needed to understand the benefits, risks, and effects of some of these herbs. Medical marijuana may seem to be the best pain relievers for back pain, as a natural chronic pain relief option, but it comes with its risks as well. Possible risks include addiction, euphoria, liver problems, excessive sleepiness, and others. It is best to talk to a medical professional before choosing natural alternatives.

Therapeutic Alternatives

These are tissue and nerve pain treatment options that can provide relief from pain. Some effective therapeutic pain relief options include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Exercise
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture

How To Stay Healthy?

Living with pains can be extremely uncomfortable. Even though there are so many options for pain relief, not all of them are suitable for some people. Discuss with your doctor on what options are best for you or your loved ones and ensure that you stick to the drug plan as much as possible.