June 11, 2020
When physicians prescribe medication for relief from pain caused by injuries or certain medical conditions, the prescription drugs can be of benefit for relieving discomfort and other adverse symptoms.
However, patients may be at risk for developing a dependency on some medications when taking them without sufficient guidance or cautionary advice from the physician who prescribes them.
It is important for patients to be aware of associated risks, and to ask informed questions to fully understand the nature of any prescription medications before taking them.
Here are some important points to consider before taking any prescription medication:
- Many prescription drugs, including pain and anti-anxiety medications, can be addictive. It is important to recognize the signs of addiction, and to be equipped with resources to turn to should you find yourself falling into addictive patterns.
- Even though controlled substances are legal when properly prescribed, they should not be underestimated or considered ‘safer’ than illicit drugs, as prescription medication can be just as addictive if a patient is unaware of the risks.
- Taking a prescription drug that has not been prescribed for you is not only illegal, it may be extremely dangerous. Never take any pain medication that has not been specifically prescribed for you by a qualified pain physician.
- Likewise, sharing, selling or giving someone else a drug that has been prescribed for you is also illegal, and may be dangerous for the other party. Never share your pain medications with anyone else.
If you do not need to take all of your medication, you can refer to the FDA website for information about how to safely dispose of unused portions of your medicine.
- Driving a vehicle under the influence of controlled prescription drugs is legally the same as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence,) which is typically associated with alcohol use. Check with your prescribing physician to learn about any side effects you may experience while taking these medications, and what activities you should avoid.
- Never adjust the dosage of a medication that was prescribed to you. Depending on the controlled substance, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms including: difficulty breathing, confusion, exhaustion, decreased heart rate, anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, physical dependence, and even life-threatening consequences.
- Mixing controlled substances can be dangerous – make sure your physician is aware of all medications and/or herbal supplements you are taking, as they may not have access to the history of medications prescribed to you by other physicians. Mixing controlled substances can lead to overdose and death.
- Additionally, do not mix alcohol with controlled substances. This can cause drowsiness, dizziness, increased risk for overdose, slowed or difficulty breathing, impaired motor control, unusual behavior, and memory problems.
- Carefully keep track of your prescribed medication schedule. This will minimize the chances of missing a dose or accidentally taking a double-dosage.
- Don’t discuss what medications you are taking with anyone but your medical provider, and keep your medications in a secure place at all times.
Prescription drug abuse of controlled substances has become an epidemic in the United States. Pain medications are often stolen from medicine cabinets or handbags by addicts who have learned of someone in possession of prescription pain meds. Keeping your medication history private will help to reduce your chances of becoming a target for such addicted individuals.
Are you suffering with chronic pain don’t want to take prescription drugs?
At Riverside Pain Physicians, our expert pain treatment providers are committed to providing minimally invasive, proven procedures and treatments that help patients live more enjoyable lives, often without need for prescription medicines.
If your condition warrants a prescription for relief, our responsible and conscientious pain management physicians are committed to providing you with the right guidance and recommendations to ensure that you’re fully informed, so you can better recognize and avoid the potential for addiction.
If you want more information about options for minimizing or eliminating your pain, call Riverside Pain Physicians today at 904.389.1010 to schedule a consultation, or click here to set up an appointment online for one of our Jacksonville clinic locations.