Safety Guidelines for Prescription Painkillers

Painkillers are often prescribed following surgical care to help patients manage pain and discomfort. There are many different types of prescription painkillers; your physician will determine the best product for your needs based on your condition and the length of time you will need medication. Because some prescription painkillers can cause side effects that affect your daily functions or may be associated with a risk of chemical dependence, it’s important to follow the safety guidelines laid out by your physician.

Follow Dosing Instructions

Regardless of the type of painkiller you receive, your physician will provide dosing instructions with your medication. It’s important to follow these instructions and use any included measuring device to ensure you receive the correct amount of medication; you should also follow the dosing schedule provided by your doctor or pharmacist. Never try to change your dosage or your medication schedule without consulting your physician first.

Heed Warnings and Recommendations

If your medication was packaged with a warning label, make sure to read it fully to ensure you understand any recommendations that apply, such as avoiding alcohol or driving while on your medication. Additionally, if your medication recommends taking pills with a meal, it’s best to follow these instructions to reduce stomach and bowel irritation.

Dispose of Leftover Medication

Once your course of treatment is complete or you no longer require painkillers to manage discomfort, dispose of any extra medication promptly. Never save medication for later or give your medication to others, as the dosage that is correct for you could be harmful to someone else.

If you have questions about your medication or your health, your physician at West Hills Hospital is here to help. You can reach our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4321, or visit our website for additional information about general care, emergency care, maternity care, and cancer care in West Hills .

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