How To Take Opioid Medications Safely?

Are you suffering from chronic pain? Have you just been prescribed opioids by your doctor to relieve that pain? If yes, then those opioids can provide relief if used properly with the help of pill reminder app. But they come with some concerns as well.

There is a very small difference between a harmful and useful dose of an opioid. A slight error in dosage may result in severe side effects. What’s more, stopping opioid use without doctor’s advice may lead to withdrawal symptoms, causing you to feel dependence on the medication.

If you are using opioids for the first time, all the instruction and restrictions may come as a shock. But these smart strategies can help you take these medications safely.

Keep Prescription with You

Keeping the original prescription paper or a copy with you is always the best practice. In fact, many states have laws requiring you to keep prescription with you when leaving home. In some states, people have also faced criminal charges for not having their opioid medication in its original container and not keeping prescriptions with them. So, check what your state’s law says about prescription medications. And if you are travelling to another state/country, make sure you’re aware of their law.

Ask Questions from Your Doctor

If you are unsure about something, speak up. Ask the doctor how to manage your pain – through surgery, physical therapy, or some other way. You should inform the doctor about your previous injuries and any substance abuse you did in the past. This will help the doctor to closely monitor your progress and signs of possible side effects such as trouble sleeping or drowsiness.

You must also tell the specialist if your medication is starting to become less effective. Opioids tend to become lose effect over time because the consistent use of a drug causes our bodies to develop tolerance to it.

Signs of medication dependence are also something your doctor should know about. You’ll know that dependence is happening if you experience withdrawal symptoms after taking a break from the drug.

Only Take the Prescribed Amount

When the pain starts bothering, you may want to increase the dosage. But increasing dosage is dangerous because when it comes to taking opioids, overdosing can be fatal.  Therefore, instead of experimenting with the drug, speak with your doctor as he’s the only person who can offer the best advice.

Plan Ahead

If you’re on opioids for long-term, plan ahead with your doctor and pharmacist. Try to schedule your next appointment right after each appointment and set a reminder for it using a medication reminder app. This will help you take the appointment on time which otherwise is quite difficult due to the crazy busy nature of modern life. Having a reminder app will also ensure that there are no problems and interruptions in your care plan. For a consistent supply of prescription drugs, work with one pharmacy.

Be Open to Alternatives

Never rule out alternatives. Always tell your doctor if you want to try an alternative strategy in addition to your regular opioid medication for pain relief. Many people find alternative therapies very effective in easing pain.

When looking for alternatives, these are the likeliest options you will get:

  • Aqua therapy in a warm pool
  • massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise and activities that rev up your body’s endorphins which ultimately helps reduce your reliance on opioid medications.

Take Virtual Appointments

If you are often occupied by a busy schedule or live far from your doctor’s clinic, consider virtual appointments – also known as telemedicine. In telemedicine, the doctor communicates with the patient through electronic means such as a computer, laptop, iPad or a smartphone. It is a quick and effective way of treatment which has been in use for many years by hospitals. However, in some cases, the doctor may still want to meet face-to-face.

Keep Your Medications in A Safe Place

Always keep prescription drugs in a safe place – one which kids and pets can’t reach. Opioids medications are dangerous for kids and sometimes, just a single pill can kill a child.

Even if it doesn’t kill, the kid may end up developing opioid addiction which affects more than 2 million Americans every year. Therefore, it’s necessary to store opioids in a place which others can’t reach.

Don’t store them in an accessible place like refrigerator or a medicine cabinet. Instead, hide them in a hard-to-find place to keep them away from the reach of others.

Manage Your Stress

Having chronic pain is never easy, and stress can make it even worse. Therefore, it’s important for you to manage your stress by Indulging in activities that make you feel better. Take a hot bath, watch an interesting movie or take a stroll through a park to take your mind off the pain for a while. Doing these activities not only reduces pain but also brings down stress levels.

Follow the Timing

It’s important to take medications on time sing vaccine reminder app. If you forgot to take a dose, don’t double up as it can lead to an overdose. Forget about the missed one and just take your next dose on time.

Don’t Share Your Prescription

Don’t share your meds with anyone. If someone you know is suffering from pain, don’t give them pills form your own prescription. It’s risky. Its fatal. It’s against the law.  Plus, an accidental overdose could result in opioid addiction. Therefore, instead of sharing your prescription with a friend, tell them to see a doctor.

Tell Family Members About Your Prescription

Your friends and family members should know that you are taking opioids. You should also tell them about side effects and signs of an overdose as it will allow them to get help in case of an emergency.