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Select any of the possible side effects to find out more.

Most people get this side effect of opioids which can be very uncomfortable. Your doctor should give you medicines to make it easier to go to the toilet (laxatives). Drinking plenty of water, eating a high fibre diet and exercising, if possible, might also help to prevent constipation. If it doesn’t get better, speak to your doctor – but don’t stop taking the pain-relieving drugs without speaking to your doctor. 

You might feel sick or be sick for the first few days of taking opioid drugs but this usually improves. If you feel sick, your doctor can prescribe anti-sickness tablets to stop this. 

When you first start taking opioid drugs you might feel drowsy or find it hard to concentrate. This usually improves after a few days, when your body has become used to the drug. Ask your doctor or nurse whether it is safe for you to drive when you are taking opioids. 

Sipping drinks throughout the day can help. You can also try chewing gum or sucking boiled sweets. 

Some men are worried about becoming addicted to stronger pain-relieving drugs like morphine. If you are taking morphine to relieve pain then it’s unlikely you’ll become addicted. Remember that you might not start with the strongest type of pain-relieving drugs, and the dose will be carefully controlled by your doctor. If you are worried about taking opioids, speak to your doctor or nurse.