Beware Addictive Pain Killers — Physical Therapy Better

I have reached that age where I have to cope with pain. A combination of arthritis and a rib injured in a fall had me using Endocet (below) until my son discovered that this drug is both dangerous and addictive.
My first night off it was hell. Then I split the pills and took half does for several days. I may still be breaking loose.

Much better for maintaining one’s body is a field of people trained in physical therapy for at least three years. They work on one’s body and loosen up joints, etc. The one I am using now is located at 162 W. 72nd. St. (forth floor — a small door to the east of the main building) and one can make appointments by phone — 212-362-3595. It is covered by Medicare and GHI for my system, so costs nothing.

Endocet

Generic Name: acetaminophen and oxycodone (a SEET a MIN oh fen and OX i KOE done)
Brand Names: Endocet, Magnacet, Percocet, Primalev, Primlev, Roxicet, Tylox, Xolox
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What is Endocet?

Endocet contains a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.

Acetaminophen is a less potent pain reliever that increases the effects of oxycodone.

Endocet is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

Endocet may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Endocet

Tell your doctor if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis). You may not be able to take medication that contains acetaminophen.

Oxycodone may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep Endocet in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Endocet can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.

Tell your doctor if Endocet seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Before taking Endocet

Do not use Endocet if you are allergic to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or oxycodone. Oxycodone may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share Endocet with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

Tell your doctor if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day or if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis). You may not be able to take medication that contains acetaminophen.

To make sure you can safely take Endocet, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
liver or kidney disease;

a history of head injury or brain tumor;

epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

low blood pressure;

a stomach, intestinal, or pancreas disorder;

underactive thyroid;

Addison’s disease or other adrenal gland disorder;

enlarged prostate, urination problems;

curvature of the spine;

mental illness; or

a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Endocet is harmful to an unborn baby, but it could cause breathing problems or addiction/withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Before you take Endocet, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Acetaminophen and oxycodone may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Endocet without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Endocet pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
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How should I take Endocet?

Take Endocet exactly as prescribed. Never take Endocet in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver. Adults should not take more than 1 gram (1000 mg) of acetaminophen per dose or 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. If you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day, never take more than 2 grams (2000 mg) of acetaminophen per day.

One Endocet tablet may contain up to 650 mg of acetaminophen. Know the amount of acetaminophen in the specific product you are taking.

Drink 6 to 8 full glasses of water daily to help prevent constipation while you are taking Endocet. Do not use a stool softener (laxative) without first asking your doctor. Do not stop using this Endocet suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Endocet.

Acetaminophen can cause false results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Talk to your doctor if you are diabetic and you notice changes in your glucose levels during treatment.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Endocet. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store Endocet at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of the Endocet used from each new bottle. Oxycodone is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

See also: Endocet dosage (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Endocet is taken as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1 800 222 1222. An overdose of Endocet can be fatal.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Overdose symptoms may also include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, cold and clammy skin, muscle weakness, fainting, weak pulse, slow heart rate, coma, blue lips, shallow breathing, or no breathing
What should I avoid while taking Endocet?

Endocet may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.
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Endocet side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Endocet: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;

feeling light-headed, fainting;

confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;

seizure (convulsions);

problems with urination; or

nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Endocet side effects include:

feeling dizzy or drowsy;

mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation;

blurred vision; or

dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Endocet side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Endocet?

Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, or seizure medication can add to sleepiness caused by oxycodone, or could slow your breathing. Tell your doctor if you need to use any of these other medicines while you are taking Endocet.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

glycopyrrolate (Robinul);

mepenzolate (Cantil);

atropine (Donnatal, and others), benztropine (Cogentin), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), methscopolamine (Pamine), or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);

bladder or urinary medications such as darifenacin (Enablex), flavoxate (Urispas), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), tolterodine (Detrol), or solifenacin (Vesicare);

a bronchodilator such as ipratropium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva); or

irritable bowel medications such as dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levsin, and others), or propantheline (Pro-Banthine).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Endocet. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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