Alice (in Wonderland) spied a little glass box, and "she opened it and found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants."
Then what? Without asking herself (or anyone else), "Should I eat this?" Alice gobbled it down and instantly grew to enormous proportions.
Unfortunately, millions in Pharmaland make a similar mistake when they take opioid pain medcations prescribed by doctors without stopping to ask a few questions. That could help them avoid problems of equally enormous proportions.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a guide that gives you questions to ask your doctor before you take opioid pain relievers.
1. Why do I need this particular medication? Are there non-opioid pain meds that work?
2. How long should I take this medication?
3. What if I have a history of addiction? If you've battled addiction to any substance — tobacco and alcohol included — you and your doc need to discuss how to proceed.
4. What are the risks associated with this pain reliever and how can I reduce them?
5. Will this drug interact with other medications and supplements I'm taking?
6. How should I store opioids? (The answer: "very safely." Then ask about disposal of unused pills.)
You should also ask about seeing a pain specialist. But be aware that many don't take insurance.
The FDA also recommends getting a prescription for naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, just in case.
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