Only 14 states across the United States recognize the use of medicinal marijuana. While it is still debatable whether or not the use of medicinal marijuana is actually legal, it is known that Physicians are prescribing it for patients with a wide variety of illness including:migraine headaches, anxiety, chronic back pain, arthritis, movement disorders, HIV/AIDS multiple sclerosis, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, glaucoma and epilepsy.
For patients with chronic pain in states that do not allow medicinal marijuana, pain is treated with a variety of pain medications. One medication frequently prescribed is Percocet.
Oxycodone is a generic form of the name brand drug Percocet. It is typically prescribed to patients who have moderate to severe pain, and sometimes chronic pain. Oxycodone is a narcotic pain reliever that also contains acetaminophen.
If you are a patient or caregiver trying to make the decision about using medical marijuana or prescription medication, you will probably be interested in the long term side effects of each.
Side effects of marijuana
Conjunctival injection, increased appetite, dry mouth, tachycardia
Additional symptoms as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
Euphoria with inappropriate laughter and grandiosity, sedation, lethargy, impairment in short term memory, difficulty carrying out complex mental processes, impaired judgment, distorted sensory perceptions, impaired motor performance, sensation that time is passing slowly.
Occasional side effect
Anxiety, suspiciousness, paranoia, dysphoria, social withdrawal
Rare side effect
Hallucinations, use of marijuana can bring on symptoms of schizophrenia in patients who were previously symptom free
Long term use
Psychological dependence, lack of motivation, depression, chronic cough
According to the DSM -IV-TR the THC content in illicit marijuana has increased significantly since the late 1960s from an average of approximately 1%-5% to as much as 10%-15%.
Side effects of Oxycodone
This information has been obtained from a CVS Pharmacy from a patient handout on Oxycodone
Possible side effects
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, increased sweating, dry mouth, lightheadedness, loss of appetite, weakness.The literature recommends that you select a laxative to start using.
Unlikely side effects
Slow/shallow breathing, fainting, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (agitation, hallucinations, confusion), difficulty urinating, vision changes.
Rare but serious side effects
Change in the amount of urine, seizures. Since this medication contains acetaminophen, a warning is also included about the dangers of the use of it: If you take more than the maximum daily amount it may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease.Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms of liver damage:Persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness.
CVS Pharmacy -Patient Prescription Information February 9, 2010
American Psychiatric Association. (2007). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(4th ed). Washington, DC: Author.
Kaplan, H.I. & Sacock, B.J., (1993). Pocket handbook of emergency psychiatric medicine
Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.