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What Patients Should Be Asking Their GP Before Taking Prescribed Opioids

Opioids are painkillers usually prescribed by general practitioners and doctors. While effective at relieving pain, they can also be addictive, with misuse causing serious harm and even death. These powerful drugs drive up the levels of dopamine (feel-good hormone) in your brain, causing euphoria while controlling pain.


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It’s these qualities that can make opioids addictive. Here is a list of questions you should ask your GP before taking prescribed opioids.

Do I Need This Medication?

It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor if there are any alternative medications they can prescribe before agreeing to take opioids. In low doses, opioids are generally safe, although high doses can cause serious side effects. If your doctor determines that opioids are the best medication to provide pain relief, then consider asking further questions.

What Are the Side Effects?

Opioids are a class of drug that includes heroin, morphine and methadone – all incredibly powerful and addictive. It’s best to ask your doctor what side effects you may encounter from taking drugs such as these. Side effects can include breathing and heart problems, drowsiness, sleep disorders, dependence and addiction.

How Long Will I Need to Take the Drug?

Ask your doctor for the lowest dose of opioids possible, and also ask how long you’ll need to take the drug. Ensure your doctor has a plan to taper off and then end the use of the drug to avoid long-term dependency.

Am I at Risk of Becoming Addicted to the Drug?

Explain to your doctor if you have a history of substance misuse and addiction. It is now easier for a doctor or health professional to test whether you have opioids in your system thanks to FDA-approved products. Strips which detect opioids in urine have quickly hit the market thanks, in part, to How long does it take to get a FDA 510k approved? Well, accredited independent companies can shorten the time for a product like opioid test strips to hit the market by 100 days.

Can I Get A Drug to Reverse Side Effects of an Overdose?

Ask your doctor if Rx or Naloxone could be prescribed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This drug could be the difference between life and death in extreme cases.

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