Roxanol for cancer patients is a type of morphine. It is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. This narcotic pain reliever acts on certain centers within the brain and by working on these centers, it brings pain relief.
This medication can be taken with food if needed, but it doesn’t have to be. The patient’s doctor will determine the best dosage for the patient. If nausea is an issue, lying down and taking antihistamines may be beneficial.
This medication comes as a concentrate and rectal suppository.
It is critical to take this medication exactly as directed. Strong withdrawal can occur if stopped abruptly.
The most common side effects of this type of morphine include nausea and vomiting, feeling lightheaded, feeling drowsy, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness and increased sweating. Getting plenty of water, fiber and exercise will help to prevent constipation. Consulting a pharmacist about a laxative can be helpful as well.
Serious, but unlikely side effects include shallow or slow breathing, mood or mental changes, vision changes, fainting, trouble urinating and fast or slow heart beat. Some of the mood or mental changes may include hallucinations, confusion or agitation.
Very serious, but rare side effects include amount of urine changes, severe stomach or abdominal pain and seizures. A very serious allergic reaction is also possible, but rare.
Patients should tell their doctors about infectious diarrhea, paralytic ileus and other bowel diseases. Other contraindications may include kidney disease, lung diseases or breathing problems, certain heart problems, brain disorders, difficulty urinating, mental or mood disorders, adrenal gland problem, liver disease, drug or alcohol abuse, spinal problems, underactive thyroid, disease of the pancreas, gallbladder disease and intestinal disorders.
Roxanol for cancer patients may contain sugar so diabetes should use caution. This product may also cause dizziness. Patients should avoid alcohol and should not try activities that require them to be alert, such as driving.
Patients should tell their doctors they take this drug before having surgery. Pregnant patients should avoid this drug unless under strict doctor supervision. Breastfeeding women should avoid this drug. It passes into breast milk.
There are possible drug interactions with this drug. These include naltrexone, cimetidine, certain pain medications, rifampin, anti-seizure drugs, sleep or anxiety medications, psychiatric medications, muscle relaxers and narcotic pain medications. This drug may also interact with over-the-counter cold and cough medications.
PubMed Health. (2009). Morphine Rectal. Retrieved on April 14, 2011 from PubMed Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000334/
Drugs.com. (2006). Roxanol. Retrieved on April 14, 2011 from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/mtm/roxanol.html
RxList. (2011). Roxanol. Retrieved on April 14, 2011 from RxList: https://www.rxlist.com/roxanol-drug.htm
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