ZocdocAnswersIs it a bad idea to take a narcotic pain killer if you might have a concussion?

Question

Is it a bad idea to take a narcotic pain killer if you might have a concussion?

A friend of mine lost feeling in her feet after getting off the toilet and fell head first into the bathtub and might be suffering from a concussion. She has a back problem that needs attention thats why she lost felling in her feet, but she asked me to bring her some of my percocets up to the E.R for her to take and i'm definitely not going to do that because i'm sure there is some kind of law about giving a person meds while they are in the E.R when they are not being given by prescription from the E.R doctor. and it doesn't sound like a good idea at all. But should a person even take a painkiller with a head injury like this at all is my overall question????

Answer

Your instinct here is very good, that you should not give your pain medication to your friend. Generally speaking, any strong pain medications should be prescribed directly by a physician and should only be taken by the person for whom they are prescribed. It is never a good idea to take some one else's prescription medications. Concussion can be a serious issue, because it can cause lingering problems such as headache, nausea, and dizziness that can take a long time to resolve. In this setting, it is often necessary to take medications for pain or for the other symptoms. Opiates like percocet might not be entirely out of the question in this situation, but they should only be taken if your friend's doctor agrees that this is the best approach. It also sounds like your friend needs to work with her primary care doctor anyway on this back pain issue, so one thing you could do is suggest to her that she make a followup appointment to deal both with the issue of the concussion as well as with the back pain. Since her primary care doctor knows her better than any other doctor, they will be well qualified to help her figure out which medications she should be taking.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.