Long-acting opiate pain relievers are medicines used to relieve moderate to severe long-term pain. They are also called extended-release opiates. Opiates relieve pain by changing the way your body feels pain. They don't cure a health problem, but they help you manage the pain.
If you take a lot of short-acting medicine, your doctor may give you long-acting opiates. Long-acting opiates help you avoid the ups and downs in pain relief that you may have with short-acting medicine.
Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
What to know about taking this medicine
Opiate pain relievers are strong medicines that can be very helpful in treating pain, especially after an injury or surgery. They are safest when you use them exactly as your doctor prescribes. But there is a risk of addiction when you take them for more than a few days. The risk is lower if you follow your doctor's instructions on how to take them. Your risk is slightly higher if you or someone in your family has a history of substance abuse. If you are worried about addiction, talk with your doctor.
Ask for written instructions from your doctor or pharmacist about how to safely get rid of any medicine that's left over.
Call your doctor if the dose you are taking doesn't control your pain.