Belladonna and Opium

Belladonna and opium is a narcotic analgesic (pain medicine) used to relieve moderate to serious pain that is caused by spasms in the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder (ureteral spasms).

Overview

Both belladonna and opium are natural substances extracted from plants. The medicinal form of belladonna decreases muscle activity (spasms) in the body, while that of opium is used to relieve pain (opioid medication). Belladonna and opium suppositories are prescribed to relieve moderate to serious pain caused by spasms in the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder. This product belongs to the group of medications known as narcotic analgesics (pain medicines).

When a patient uses a narcotic for a long time, the drug may become habit forming, leading to a physical or mental dependence. A physical dependence could cause withdrawal symptoms when treatment is suddenly stopped. However, by gradually reducing the dosage over some time before stopping treatment completely, serious withdrawal side effects can be prevented.

Condition(s) treated

  • Moderate to severe pain

Type of medicine

  • Narcotic analgesic

Side effects

Along with the desired effects, a drug may also cause certain unwanted effects. While not all of these effects are likely to occur, if they do, get medical attention as soon as you can.

Side effects where they incidence rate is unknown:

  • Decrease in urine volume
  • Decrease in the urination frequency
  • Rapid pulse
  • Painful urination
  • Difficulty passing urine (dribbling)
  • Seek emergency medical attention immediately if any of these symptoms of an overdose occur:
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Change in consciousness
  • Fever
  • Dry mouth
  • Flushed, dry or hot skin
  • Irregular, slow or fast, or shallow breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Blue or pale lips, skin or fingernails

Some side effects that may not be considered serious and will usually not require any medical help may also occur. These side effects should go away with time as your body gets used to the new medication. However, if any of these side effects do not go away or start to bother you, or if you need more information about them, make sure you consult your doctor:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Itching skin
  • Skin rash
  • Redness of the skin
  • Hives or welts
  • Change in color vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Increased eye sensitivity to sunlight

Get medical help immediately if you experience very serious side effects, including severe seizures, shallow or slow breathing, abdominal or stomach pain, severe drowsiness or difficulty waking up.

Strong allergic reactions to this drug are rare. However, get medical help immediately for any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction: dizziness, rash, itching, swelling and trouble breathing.

Some other side effects not listed here may also occur in some patients. You are advised to check with your doctor as soon as possible if any other side effects occur.

Dosage

The dosage you are given will based on your medical condition and how you respond to treatment. Do not increase the dose, use the drug more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. The information provided below indicates only the average or usual doses for belladonna and opium.

For relieving moderate to severe pain:

  • Adults and teenagers - insert one suppository into rectum once or twice a day. Dosage usually does not exceed four suppositories a day, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor.
  • Children aged 12 and below - use is not recommended.

Using belladonna-opium suppository

Make sure you wash your hands before and after using the suppository. Remove the suppository from the wrapper and moisten it with a little water. Lie down on your left side while bending the right knee. Push the suppository gently into your rectum with one finger. Remain in a lying position for a few more minutes, and avoid any bowel movement for at least an hour to allow for absorption of the drug. This suppository should only be used in the rectum.

If you feel nauseous, consult your pharmacist or doctor about ways to reduce the nausea (for example, lying down for an hour or two with minimal head movement).

Pain medications work most effectively when used at the first signs of pain. The medication may not work as well if you wait until the pain has become worse.

This medication could cause withdrawal side effects, particularly if used regularly for a long period of time, or in high doses. These symptoms may occur if you stop using the medicine. To prevent these withdrawal side effects, your doctor may reduce your dosage gradually. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor for more details and be sure report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

This medication may not work as effectively if used for prolonged periods. Your doctor may have to increase the dose or change your medication. Discuss with your healthcare giver if the drug stops working well.

Though this drug helps many people, it sometimes causes addiction. The risk could be higher if you have a substance use problem (addiction or overuse of drugs or alcohol). To lower the risk of addiction, use this drug exactly as prescribed. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor for more details.

Missed dose

If you’ve been using this medicine regularly and happen to miss a dose, take it the moment you remember. However, you should return to the regular schedule if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

This medicine could cause harm if swallowed. If someone overdoses, give them naloxone if it’s available, and call 911 immediately. If the patient is awake and shows no symptoms, call a local poison control center right away.

Major drug interactions

Drug interactions may affect a medication’s effectiveness or increase the risk of serious side effects occurring. Some medications should not be used together for this reason, but there may be instances where your doctor may prescribe them both, even in cases where an interaction is likely. In such cases, the doctor may change the dosage or advise that you take certain precautions.

Using belladonna and opium with potassium and naltrexone is not recommended. Your doctor may decide against treating you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using belladonna and opium with any of the medicines highlighted below is usually not recommended, but may be necessary in some cases. If your doctor prescribes both medicines together, they may decide to change the dose or the frequency of using one or both of the medications:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Anileridine
  • Levorphanol
  • Meperidine
  • Flibanserin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Bromazepam
  • Bromopride
  • Alfentanil
  • Butorphanol
  • Doxylamine
  • Fentanyl
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Codeine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Methadone
  • Lorazepam
  • Meclizine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Opium
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Sufentanil
  • Tramadol
  • Tiotropium
  • Zolpidem
  • Propoxyphene
  • Morphine
  • Periciazine
  • Pentazocine
  • Remifentanil
  • Tapentadol

Using belladonna and opium with any of the following may increase the risk of experiencing certain side effects, but the combination may be the best treatment for the patient. If the pharmacist or doctor prescribes both medicines together, they may decide to change the dose or the frequency of using one or both of the medications:

  • Perphenazine
  • Methdilazine
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Promethazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Dixyrazine
  • Mesoridazine
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Acetophenazine
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Ethopropazine
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Perazine
  • Fluphenazine
  • Periciazine
  • Promazine
  • Triflupromazine
  • Propiomazine
  • Thioridazine
  • Pipotiazine

Having certain other medical conditions could affect the use of this medicine. Inform your health caregiver if you suffer from other medical problems, especially:

  • Incipient glaucoma
  • Acute alcohol withdrawal
  • Respiratory depression
  • History of allergic reactions to narcotic medications (such as morphine)
  • Increased pressure in the head.

Warnings

Before taking belladonna and opium, tell your doctor know if you are allergic to the medication or other pain medications (opioids, such as codeine and morphine), or if you have any other allergies. You should also mention any other prescription and non-prescription drugs you are using or plan to use. Additionally, let your doctor know about other herbal products, dietary supplements you use or are planning to use.

This medicine should not be prescribed to people with certain medical problems. Before using the medication, talk to your health caregiver if you have myasthenia gravis (a nerve/muscle disease), certain bowel and stomach diseases (such as infectious diarrhea, paralytic ileus, blockage) or glaucoma (narrow-angle).

Taking this drug could make you sweat less, increasing the likelihood of a heat stroke. Avoid activities that may cause your body to overheat, such as exercise or hard work in hot conditions, or bathing in a hot tub. Drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly in hot weather. If you overheat, quickly find a place to cool down. Seek medical attention immediately if you have a persistent fever, headache, dizziness or mental mood changes.

Before using this medication, discuss with your healthcare professional your medical history, especially if you have glaucoma, severe kidney disease, severe liver disease, heart disease, asthma, respiratory depression, seizures/epilepsy, history of drug dependence (especially narcotic dependence or abuse), enlarged prostate, psychosis (mental illness), hypothyroidism, and a history of head injuries.

This medication may make you drowsy or dizzy, or cause poor vision. Do not drive, operate machinery or perform any activities that need clear vision or alertness until you are sure that you are able to perform such activities safely. Be sure to avoid alcoholic drinks.

Make sure you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine. Your doctor will then consider the risks and the benefits of taking the medicine while pregnant, and advice you accordingly. It is not yet known if this medication is passed through breast milk. Opium is known to pass through breast milk, but its effect on the infant is not known. Nursing mothers should consider the potential benefits against the risks of taking belladonna and opium while breastfeeding.

Belladonna and opium may cause constipation. Drink plenty of water while taking the medication to prevent this.

Keep track of the amount of medication you use from each supply. Belladonna and opium may be abused, and you should be aware if someone else is using your medication without a prescription.

Storage

Store this medicine as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Do not keep the package in the bathroom; store it in a dry place safe, away from moisture and out of the reach of children. Be sure to consult your pharmacist on how to dispose of unused medications once they are no longer needed.

Summary

Belladonna and opium is prescribed to treat moderate to severe ureteral pain. You should be aware that long-term use of a narcotic pain reliever may become habit forming, causing a physical or mental dependence. With a physical dependence, you may experience withdrawal side effects when treatment is suddenly stopped. However, by gradually reducing the dosage before stopping treatment, serious withdrawal side effects can be prevented.

Misusing a narcotic pain medication may lead to an addiction, overdose or even death, especially in children or other people using the drug without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about how you can avoid the withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the medication.

It is also important to inform your doctor about other prescription and non-prescription medications, supplements and herbal treatments you are using. Additionally, let your doctor know about other medical conditions you may be suffering from at the time of treatment. This medication is not recommended for use in children aged 12 and below. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should consider the potential benefits against the risks of taking belladonna and opium.

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Last Reviewed:
December 22, 2017
Last Updated:
December 22, 2017
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