Medical Marijuana as an analgesic versus Narcotic analgesics
While visiting a convalescing friend, she asked if I could run down to the pharmacy and pick up her pain prescription. One was ready and I agreed to sit for whatever duration until the second was complete. While waiting, I began reading the admonitions on the prescription package required by law. I was completely flabbergasted at the information, especially in comparison to the heat and controversy applied to Medical Marijuana, and just Marijuana in general. My friend’s pain pills were classified under the “Narcotic Analgesics” category.
In addition to individual drugs within the category, the following effects are common to most narcotic analgesics. Respiratory: Respiratory depression, apnea. CNS: Dizziness, lightheadedness, sedation, lethargy, headache, euphoria, mental clouding, fainting, idiosyncratic effects, including excitement, restlessness, tremors, delirium, insomnia. GI: N&V, vomiting, constipation, increased pressure in billiary tract, dry mouth, anorexia. CV: Flushing, changes in HR and BP, circulatory collapse. Allergic: Skin rashes, including pruritus and urticaria. Sweating, laryngospasm, edema. Miscellaneous: Urinary retention, oliguria, reduced libido, changes in body temperature. Narcotics cross the placental barrier and depress respiration of the fetus or newborn.
DEPENDENCE AND TOLERANCE
All drugs of this group are addictive. Psychologic, physical dependence and tolerance develop even when clients use clinical doses. Tolerance is characterized by the fact that the client requires shorter periods of time between doses or larger doses for relief of pain. Tolerance usually develops faster when the narcotic analgesic is administered regularly and when the dose is large.
I won’t even list the OVERDOSE MANAGEMENT section, but one symptom is death. Upon further investigation, I obtained a 2007 edition of PDR, Nurse’s Drug HANDBOOK (George R. Spratto & Adrienne L. Woods) THE INFORMATION STANDARD FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND NURSING CONSIDERATIONS.
Just browsing through this handbook, you’ll begin to realize that narcotic analgesics aren’t alone in stacking up the side effects, versus therapeutic benefits, and Medical Marijuana pales in comparison to the majority.
Hopefully, I can continue with the physical blessing of good health. However, if I’m ever convalescing and in need of an analgesic, I’ll opt for Medical Marijuana and simply contend with a slight increase in appetite.