What Should You Know About Taking Opiates When You Have A Cold?

Let’s say you’re lying around feeling like you have a cold or a mild illness and you have access to opiates. Maybe you’re wondering if taking them would help you feel better. After all, opiates could relieve minor aches and pains that come along with a cold or the flu, and you might think they can help you relax to the point where you can get more rest until you’re all better.

Not so fast.

Before you reach for opiates when you have a cold or the flu, there are some important things to know.

What Should You Know About Taking Opiates When You Have A Cold?
Before exploring the possible adverse effects of taking opiates when you have a cold, it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of how these drugs affect you. When you take opiates, they create a euphoric rush at first, and they can also contribute to extreme drowsiness or random nodding off. These are side effects that occur mostly when someone takes them who is not experiencing severe pain.

Since they are intended for the treatment of severe pain, if you take them and don’t feel pain their effects are often different than what they’re meant to be.

Opiates impact almost every area of the body including the digestive system, the nervous system, and the immune system.

The most critical thing to know about taking opiates when you have a cold is their potential impact on the respiratory system.

Prescription opiates like Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as all other types of opioids,  work in a way that slows down the respiratory system. They depress the respiratory system in a manner that slows breathing, and that’s what makes overdose deaths such a common occurrence with opioids.

If you take opioids and you have a cold that is also causing respiratory problems on its own, your breathing could be so compromised that it becomes difficult for you to continue breathing. If your respiration rate becomes too slow, you will experience serious consequences such as organ failure and ultimately death.

An example of this could be a scenario where you might think you have a simple cold, but in reality, it’s something like bronchitis. Take opiates with bronchitis could be a bad combination and it should be avoided.

With any illness including the flu, the lungs are suppressed regarding how they exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. Then, if the person were at the same time taking opioids, their body would start to lose its natural ability to regulate breathing rate. The combination of being sick and taking opioids is often just too much stress for the average respiratory system to cope with.

Another reason you should avoid taking opiates when you have a cold is because of the potential for dangerous drug interactions. You might realize that taking opioids with other prescription medications isn’t a good idea, but what about over-the-counter drugs?

If you were to pair opioids with something like an over-the-counter cold and flu drug, the interaction could be deadly. Also, if you take a cold medicine that has a sleep aid in it and then take opioids this can also lead to an overdose death.

Finally, if you have a cold and you’re considering whether or not you should turn to opioids for relief you should also know they can potentially impact your immune system. When you use opioids, it can impair your body’s ability to fight off infections. In many cases, people who take opioids, particularly if they abuse them, have been shown to be at a higher risk of developing health conditions like the flu, pneumonia and bacterial infections.

All signs point to the fact that it’s not a good idea to take opiates when you have a cold or any kind of sickness. The results can be uncomfortable and minimal, such as a weakened immune system that can make it harder for your to recover, to something incredibly serious or even deadly such as your respiration system being slowed down to the point where you die.

If you are considering opiates when you have a cold, the best thing you can do is contact a physician for their professional advice.

What Should You Know About Taking Opiates When You Have A Cold?
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