If you are seriously injured or undergo a serious medical procedure such as surgery, your doctor may prescribe you prescription painkillers. These drugs have their place in the healing process: if your pain is very bad, sometimes only a very strong medication can relieve you. You should use these medications with caution, however. When used incorrectly, prescription pain medications can be very dangerous and even deadly. Just because your doctor prescribes these drugs does not mean you should not use caution when taking them. There are a few very important things to consider before taking prescription pain medication.
Can you take an over the counter pain medication instead?
Everyone handles pain differently, and everyone has a different reaction to pain medications. If the pain you are feeling can be managed using ibuprofen or a similar over the counter drug like aspirin, this may be a much better option.
Over the counter pain medications can be much safer and less addictive than prescription pain medication. Before taking prescription medication, you may want to try an over the counter one and see if it works.
Are you taking any other drugs right now?
Make sure you tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medications you are currently on. Interactions between prescription drugs and other drugs can be very dangerous and even lethal.
Can you refrain from consuming alcohol and other substances while you are taking prescription drugs?
Most prescription painkillers should not, under any circumstance, be mixed with alcohol or other drugs. If you are not unable to refrain from drinking, you should avoid painkillers and seek help for your alcohol dependency.
Do you have a history of addiction?
Painkillers are highly addictive. If you are a recovering addict or are currently addicted to other drugs, you should avoid all prescription pain medication. Talk to your doctor about other options like icing, over the counter drugs, and other therapeutic activities that do not include painkillers.
Will you take the drug exactly as prescribed?
Patients should never attempt to adjust their own dosage on a pain medication. If you do not think you can take the painkiller in the way that your doctor instructed you to take it, you should let your doctor know.
Do you eat healthy meals on a regular basis?
Many painkillers are very rough on a patient’s stomach. In general, you will be instructed to take your medication with food. If you are a person who does not eat on a normal schedule, you should plan on adjusting your meals while you are taking your pain medication.
Can you be responsible with your prescription?
Prescriptions are always meant for only the person the doctor prescribes them to. Dispensing drugs to other people is dangerous and against the law. If you have children or teenagers in your household, make sure your drugs are in a place that is not accessible to them. If these drugs fall into the wrong hands, there can be very serious health and legal consequences for you and your loved one.
John Lloyd is an addiction recovery specialist and currently works at Seasons In Malibu learn more at http://www.seasonsmalibu.com/.