Sign Up For FREE
Health After 50 Alerts!

We value your privacy and will never rent your email address

Health After 50

The Do's and Don'ts of Opioid Use

Comments (0)

Opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet can be used safely for chronic pain if you follow certain precautions and consider all risks, including the potential for addiction, with your doctor. Take these steps to avoid misuse:

  • DO discuss the goals of treatment with your doctor. You and your doctor should also agree on when treatment should be stopped if it doesnít achieve those goals and what constitutes success or failure.
  • DO tell your doctor if you or a family member has a history of substance abuse. This puts you at higher risk for addiction.
  • DO consider alternative or adjunct therapy. Ask your doctor about other drugs or therapies for acute or chronic pain. Also, you may be able to use another drug or nondrug treatment along with a lower dose of an opioid.
  • DO take the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor before changing dosage or frequency. If you miss a dose, donít double up on doses.
  • DO watch for side effects and signs of dependence or addiction. Alert your doctor if you experience signs such as changes in mood, energy or concentration, unusual blackouts or forgetfulness.
  • DO store drugs in their original packaging. Put them in a locked cabinet or location where others canít easily access them. Keep track of how much youíve taken and how much should be left. Never share opioids.
  • DONíT consume alcohol. Opioids and alcohol are a deadly mix.
  • DONíT cut, chew, crush or dissolve medications. If you use a pain patch, be sure to remove the old one before applying the new oneóand ask your doctor or pharmacist how to properly dispose of used patches. Since they still contain a fair amount of the drug, youíll need to ensure that children, pets, etc., cannot come into contact with them.
  • DONíT mix opioids with benzodiazepines. Sedatives like Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, prescribed to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia, can slow breathing and be fatal if mixed with narcotic pain relievers.

Posted in Healthy Living on March 6, 2016


Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer


Notify Me

Would you like us to inform you when we post new Healthy Living Health Alerts?

Post a Comment

Comments

Health After 50 Alerts registered users may post comments and share experiences here at their own discretion. We regret that questions on individual health concerns to the editors cannot be answered in this space.

The views expressed here do not constitute medical advice, and do not represent the position of Scientific American Health After 50 or Remedy Health Media, LLC, which has no responsibility for any comments posted on this site.


Post a Comment


Already a subscriber?

Login

Forgot your password?

New to Health After 50?

Register to submit your comments.

(example: [email protected])

Log-in:

Forgot Password?




Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease:
A Guide for the Home Caregiver

Written by two world-renowned Alzheimer’s specialists -- Dr. Peter Rabins and Dr. Ann Morrison, this practical 134-page guide provides detailed advice on how to successfully manage your day-to-day responsibilities – to your patient and to yourself. Chapters include: When It’s Time to Take Away the Car Keys, Personal Care for the Dementia Patient, Dealing with Alzheimer’s Troubling Behavior Problems, Dealing with Alzheimer’s Troubling Behavior Problems, Deciding to Move a Loved One into Residential Care.

Read more or Order






Health Topic Pages