Respiratory depression with narcotic analgesics is rare and is usually preceded by significant changes in mental status. Narcotic agents have been shown to be effective for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia and other forms of neuropathic pain.1 Narcotic addiction is rare when opioids are used in cases of postherpetic neuralgia. Mental slowness and confusion with opioids is similar to that seen with tricyclic antidepressant agents. Long-acting narcotic agents are preferred for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia and other persistent pain syndromes.
- Respiratory problems are infrequent adverse reactions of narcotic analgesic treatment.
1. Kanazi GE, Johnson RW, Dworkin RH. Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia: an update. Drugs 2000;59:1113-26.
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