Prescription medication is one way to relieve pain caused by an injury or surgery, including dental surgery. If you’ve ever dealt with or are currently dealing with pain, a pain plan can help you work with your doctor to set goals to reduce or eliminate it.
A pain plan can help improve your quality of life while recovering from an injury and get you back to doing the things you enjoy.
What your pain plan should include:
- When prescribed a medication, understand what it is and how it will impact your body.
- Discuss the risks of taking prescribed medicine with your doctor.
- Find ways to manage your stress.
- Stay active in spite of your pain.
- Know what other options you have for managing or eliminating your pain.
- Keep a pain diary to help you and your doctor come up with ways to better manage your pain.
- Identify a support network.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR
Just because you are prescribed an opioid doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine and morphine can have some very serious side effects.
Ask your doctor questions BEFORE taking Opioids:
- Why am I being prescribed an opioid?
- Can I take this medication if I have a history of addiction with tobacco, alcohol or drugs?
- Are there medicines/prescriptions that are not opioids that I can take instead that could help reduce or eliminate my pain?
- Are there other options instead of medicine that will help me manage my pain?
- Why is this medication the right choice for me?
- Could this medicine interact with my other medicine I’m taking (for anxiety, sleeping problems, or seizures)?
- What are the risks of taking this medication?
- Is this the lowest dose possible? Can I have fewer pills?
- How can I prevent getting addicted to opioids?
For more information, visit www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm529517.htm; Published Dec. 2016
Here are some safety suggestions when handling opioids:
- Never take another person’s prescription or share your opioid prescription with others.
- DO NOT take opioids in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.
- Take opioids for the shortest amount of time possible.
- Make a pain plan with your doctor to transition off opioids as soon as possible.
- If your pain isn’t improving with your prescribed dose, follow up with your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor about a naloxone rescue kit, which can help a loved one save your life if you accidentally overdose.
- Safely store and dispose of any unused opioid medications to help protect your family and loved ones.
An opioid, also known as a narcotic, is a strong pain medicine. In some cases, opioids can be an important part of treatment. Even though they can help relieve pain, there are serious risks with taking opioids, including addiction and accidental death by overdose.
Common prescription opioids:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Meperidine (Demerol®)
Talk to your doctor to understand the risks and the benefits of taking opioids for pain management.
WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR PAIN
There are a variety of ways to help you manage pain. Your health plan may have programs available to help you reach your health goals and address chronic pain or substance use disorders.
Services that may be covered or offered at a discount under your benefit plan include:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Behavioral health treatment, such as stress management or treatment for depression
Additional pain management options:
- Over-the-counter remedies such as pain relievers
- Ice and heat therapy
- Supplements and herbs