Narcotics are pure analgesic drugs with a central effect but no antiinflammatory properties. They are no more effective than nonnarcotic analgesics for the mild to moderate pain that usually results from endodontic surgery, but their potential for complicating side-effects is much higher. This is why they are reserved only for severe pain, when non-narcotic drugs have been ineffective.
- Opium alkaloids: codeine 30-60 mg every 3-4 h.
- Synthetics: meperidine 50 mg every 6-8 h (extremely addictive with unpredictable effect and with many side-effects)
- Semisynthetics: hydrocodeine 5-10 mg every 4-6 h (Vicodin is a combination of 5 mg hydrocodeine + 500 mg acetaminophen (1 or 2) every 4-6 h).
All medically compromised patients must be monitored for synergistic or antagonistic reactions when any medication is prescribed. All medications present potential risks during the first 6 months of pregnancy. During the last trimester, appropiate drugs should be prescribed only with the approval of the patient's physician. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided entirely.