Opioids for short-term pain
- You have been prescribed opioids. What do you need to know?
You need to ask your prescriber about other ways to reduce pain, including ice, stretching, physical therapy, or the use of non-opioid medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen or naproxen. And ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to find the appropriate medication. If the pain is still severe, use the prescribed opioids. Although opioids reduce pain, they do not eliminate all pain. Opioid medication reduce pain but don't remove all pain. Non-opioids and opioid medications have been prescribed to treat your pain.
- How long will you use opioids?
As you recover from the cause of pain, your pain will improve day by day. The better, the less opioids are needed. You can discuss with your healthcare provider how and when to reduce your dose. Opioids are usually required for less than 3 days for short-term pain. Have a pain control plan and get in touch with your health care provider if your pain does not improve.
- How much is it used at the proper dose? What should I be careful about?
If possible, reduce the amount and time of use as much as possible. Inappropriate use of opioids can lead to overdose and addiction. Discuss with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about how to use the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time for all pain medications. Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills (such as benzodiazepines such as lorazepam, midazolam) while taking opioids. It can be dangerous to combine opioids with alcohol or anti-anxiety medications. Do not drive while taking opioids.
- What are the side effects?
Side effects include sedation, itching, constipation, nausea, and dizziness. If there is severe dizziness or if the patient is unable to stay awake during the guardian's observation, the guardian should contact the health care provider. It can induce serious side effect like respiratory depression to combine opioids with alcohol or anti-anxiety medications.
- How do I follow up pain?
If pain persists after opioid use, ask your prescriber when the pain will improve. If your pain does not improve as expected, let your health care provider know.