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Tramadol, codeine… are endocrine disruptors: many side effects


To the many adverse effects to which opioid drugs (tramadol, codeine, morphine, etc.) are exposed, new data confirm that there are added effects of endocrine disruptors, reports the review Prescribe in its August 2022 issue.

Their occurrencedepends on the doses received and the duration of exposure“.

Indications for opioids

Opioids, the review states, are often used:

  • in the treatment of severe pain: tramadol (Topalgic or other), codeine (in Codoliprane or other), morphine, fentanyl (Durogesic or other), oxycodone (Oxycontin or other);
  • in opioid substitution treatment (methadone, buprenorphine [Subutex ou autre]);
  • as a cough suppressant (codeine [Padéryl]dextromethorphan [Nodex ou autre]pholcodine [Dimétane sans sucre ou autre])
  • even in diarrhea (loperamide – Imodium or other).

Adverse effects

They “exposed to adverse effects similar to those induced by opium“. These effects are numerous:

  • respiratory depression;
  • neuropsychic effects;
  • digestive effects;
  • Dependencies ;
  • but also genital dysfunctions (hypogonadisms)
  • or overproduction of prolactin, a hormone involved in lactation. »

Endocrine effects

New data further confirms,endocrine effects of opioids, most often hormonal failure type“, reports the review.

To type of example:

  • the long-term consumption of opioids exposes women and men to a decrease in the production of sex hormones. May occur:

    • menstrual cycle abnormalities;
    • hot flushes;
    • low libido;
    • infertility;
    • erectile dysfunction.
  • low bone density and osteoporosis;

  • abnormal breast development in men;

  • milk secretions outside breastfeeding in women.

  • adrenal function disorders involving cortisol, aldosterone and adrenaline can cause:

    • abnormalities in body temperature regulation;
    • metabolic disorders;
    • regulation of blood sugar levels even in the absence of diabetes;
    • and abnormal thyroid function
  • hormonal effects on

    • the growth
    • nutritional balance
    • water regulation in the body

These endocrine effects differ depending on the substance, the route of administration and individual factors (age, kidney function). They seem more marked when opioids have a long-acting and are taken for a long time and in high doses.»

For more information on opioid pain medications, see the links below.

Psychomedia with source: Prescribe.
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