Narcotic Pain Relievers for Acute Neck Pain

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Narcotic Pain Relievers for Acute Neck Pain


Generic NameBrand Name
acetaminophen and oxycodonePercocet
ASA and oxycodonePercodan

How It Works

Narcotic medicines relieve pain by altering the way you feel pain.

Why It Is Used

Narcotics are recommended only for short-term treatment of severe, sudden (acute) neck pain.

Because these medicines are potentially addictive, they are usually prescribed for a limited time (1 to 2 weeks).

How Well It Works

Using narcotic medicines to treat neck pain is not well studied.1

When a narcotic does relieve pain, it becomes less effective over time. The body becomes more tolerant of narcotic medicine, and then a normal narcotic dosage provides less effective pain relief.

Side Effects

Side effects include:

  • Drug addiction/dependence.
  • Confusion.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Narcotics are not intended for use "until all the pain goes away." They are intended to be used only for a few days at the most. Your doctor will probably only prescribe enough to get you through the most severe pain.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.



  1. Binder A (2008). Neck pain, search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence:


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last Revised September 21, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.