Don’t be afraid to ask prescription-related questions during your next doctor’s appointment. A detailed discussion of your medical history and the medications you take is an important aspect of quality healthcare. If a new medication is prescribed, find out what it does and if it has any side effects. Ask how long you will need to take it. Ask if it is an opioid and, if so, ask if there is a non-opioid alternative that you can take first.

Do your best to:

  • Remain with one primary care physician who knows you and the medications you are taking.
  • Know your doctor. Do your due diligence in researching your doctor to learn about any financial relationships they may have with healthcare manufacturing companies.
  • Prepare for your appointment by thinking of questions you want to ask and take notes during your doctor’s answers.
  • Keep your doctor informed. Let them know about any other health care providers that you are seeing. Tell them about your plans, such as having a baby or embarking on a physically taxing excursion.
  • Use one pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions.
  • Take prescription medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Use caution when driving or operating machinery while taking opioid medications.
  • Avoid taking medications with alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Avoid taking extra medication.  For severe or new pain, call your pain treatment provider.
  • Talk to your children about only taking medications that are prescribed to them.
  • Do not sell or give away opioids.

National Treatment Referral Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP