Treats moderate to severe pain, helps anesthesia work better during surgery, and eases anxiety caused by heart-related breathing problems. This medicine is a narcotic analgesic (pain medicine).
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine may be given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
- If you need to be on this medicine long-term, you or someone close to you may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. Your doctor may need to change your dose several times in order to find out what works best for you.
- You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas. Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine. If your medicine is given by a pump, follow your home health caregiver's instructions.
If a dose is missed:
- Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, keep it at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets. Follow any special instructions about how to throw away empty medicine bottles, tubes, or bags.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using cimetidine, or if you are using phenothiazines (such as Compazine®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, Thorazine®), muscle relaxers, or an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®).
- Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine. Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking a medicine for depression or nerve problems, such as amitriptyline, doxepin, or nortriptyline. Tell your doctor about all other medicine you are using.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you are allergic to any other pain medicine. Tell your doctor if you have asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea, or other breathing problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you have stomach problems, digestion problems (such as diarrhea, blocked intestines, or irritable bowel syndrome), or pain in your abdomen (belly). Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or rhythm problems, low blood pressure, or circulation problems.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver or kidney disease, thyroid problems, pancreas or gallbladder problems, or a history of seizures. Tell your doctor if you have Addison's disease, prostate problems, or trouble urinating. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of depression, mental illness, or alcoholism. Tell your doctor if you have a history of a head injury, brain tumor, or other brain problems. Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma or any condition that causes increased pressure in your eye.
- This medicine can be habit-forming. Do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor if you think your medicine is not working.
- Using too much of this medicine can cause serious side effects or even death. Symptoms of an overdose include: Extreme dizziness or weakness, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat or breathing, seizures, and cold, clammy skin. In case of overdose, seek immediate medical care.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may interact with general anesthesia (sleeping medicine) and other medicines used during surgery and certain procedures. This medicine may also affect the results of certain medical tests.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy, lightheaded, or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. Change positions slowly when getting up from a lying or sitting position.
- This medicine may cause constipation, especially with long-term use. Ask your doctor if you should use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Abdominal pain.
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Confusion, hallucinations (sensing things that are not there), extreme change in behavior, or fainting.
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
- Slow breathing, or a heartbeat that is too slow or too fast.
- Trouble having a BM (constipation), trouble urinating, or urinating less than normal.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Weakness, mood changes, or trouble sleeping.
- Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
- Headache, or warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest (flushing).
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last reviewed on 8/4/2014
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