Precautions You Should Take When Using Pain Medications

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Taking pain medication is easy, but unfortunately, what’s easier is making mistakes that can potentially put you at harm. The following are some popular misconceptions about pain medications that will hopefully lead you to a safe treatment regimen.

Two is Not Better than One

Increasing your dosage without consulting your doctor will not guarantee you instant or speedier relief. Following your doctor's prescribed pain medication dosage is important because going over that dosage can be very risky, thus increasing your chance of being exposed to side effects such as seizures, poisoning, and even death.

Altering your dosage yourself could also lead to addiction of the drug. Fighting that addition will consequently be another thing you will have to struggle against. In the event that you feel like your pain medication is not as effective as you would like, see your doctor. He or she will able to help you find a medication and dosage that’s more suitable to you and your lifestyle.

Breaking the Unbreakable

One day, you may feel like you want to take a smaller dose than that which was prescribed. While doing so without the consent of your doctor is not recommended, the doctor may be trying to slowly taper off your pain medication. Though consuming less pain medication is a good habit, breaking pills may not always be successful. Scored pills are the only type of pills that are meant to be broken. Pills are structured the way they are for a purpose. You should avoid breaking or cutting pills without the advice of your healthcare professional because you run the risk of consuming a dysfunctional pill.

So, whenever you want to cut back your dose or take a partial pill, consult your physician for safety purposes.

Drinking on the Treatment

Alcohol is known to enhance the effects of pain medication. If you combine both, you can make yourself inebriated and get yourself into trouble. If you see a sticker with a martini glass, you should take caution and to stay away from beer, wine, and spirits.

This applies to over-the-counter pain medication as well.

Always Read the Labels

When you’re prescribed a new medication make sure you discuss with your doctor which over-the-counter medications you are allowed to take and not allowed to take along with it. A lot of the times, the medication will be combined with OTC drugs such as acetaminophen. Taking extra acetaminophen via Tylenol, for example, puts you at risk for overdose. Similarly, make sure you lead a discussion with your doctor regarding the other drugs and supplements you are taking to ensure you receive the healthiest treatment. There are cases where your pain medication can interfere with other treatments you are receiving, such as antidepressants. Being aware of what you insert in your body is very important when it comes to leading a health and pain-free life. If you are unsure about something, just ask.

Clean Out Your Cabinet

Never hoard drugs. Once you are done using a specific prescribed drug, dispose of it. Drugs that are stored for a long time past their expiration date start to break down, especially in a moist environment like a bathroom.

By keeping these drugs in your house, you run the risk of accidentally consuming them. Expired drugs are defective and do not work as they are intended to. The product that is a result of the breakdown of the drug can also end up being harmful to the body. Hoarding drugs also put others in your house at risk or fuel their addiction. Thus, disposing drugs once you no longer need them or your doctor says you should stay off them is safer for everyone.

Safety should be your number one concern when you are taking any type of medication. Always remember to consult your doctor if you have any concerns and do not be afraid to be vocal if you feel like a certain treatment isn’t working for you.

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