Opioids Prescription Tips

8 Opioid Prescription Tips 

Opioid medications such as morphine or hydrocodone can provide relief from short- or long-term pain, but they come with a risk for developing an addiction or other harmful side effects. Sadly, no one is immune from the destructive forces of misused drugs. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when prescribed an opioid drug:

  1. Practice open communication with your doctor. Let your doctor know about your concerns of potential side effects, and immediately report any symptoms you experience. Also, be sure to make your doctor aware of any past addictions or addictive tendencies. 
  2. Only take the amount prescribed. Never increase your prescribed dosage without talking to your doctor. Taking more than prescribed can be harmful to your body or even fatal. If you forget to take your medication, don’t double up; just take your next dose at the prescribed time.
  3. Be wary of combining with other substances. Opioids can affect a range of body functions, including your heart rate. Speak to your doctor if you are taking other substances, consume alcohol, or use illicit substances.
  4. Keep your pills in a safe place. The last thing you want is to put children, family, friends, or a pet in harm’s way. Keep your pills in a secure, private location and stored in their original childproof or well-marked container.
  5. Focus on fiber. Opioid-induced constipation is a common side effect for those with a short- or long-term pain management regimen. As a preventive measure, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans/legumes.
  6. Tell the family about your prescription. Let those closest to you know about your opioid regimen. Having extra support to hold you accountable to your treatment plan, and to recognize the signs of addiction or withdrawal, will help keep everyone at ease.
  7. Don’t share your medication with anyone. Sharing prescription opioids with family or friends exposes them to the risk of overdose or addiction. Tell them to see their doctor for the best approach to pain management.
  8. Ask about alternatives. Never hesitate to ask your doctor about other types of medication or even alternatives to prescription drugs such as physical therapy or meditation. There are also over-the-counter pain management options such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which can offer relief while reducing the opiates in your system.  


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Last updated 12/4/2018