Opiates are really powerful medications. They are very effective at killing pain; that’s the good news. The bad news is that they are very habit-forming and many people end up having problems as a result of these medications. They are also very potent and they have side effects--side effects like constipation, serious side effects like thinking problems, sleep disturbance, hormonal problems.
We’ve had evidence that women who chronically take opioids may stop having menstrual cycles, normal menstrual cycles, their sexual hormone levels go down, estrogen levels go down, and there’s actually one study that suggests that women who are on opioids long-term ought to have a bone density evaluation and perhaps be on estrogen supplementation or Fosamax-like supplementation because their bones are thinning as a result of being on chronic opioids.
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.