Questions to ask

— Have you been prescribed an opioid? Ask your doctor (or dentist) these questions, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Dr. Sam Ho said.

If your doctor or dentist prescribes a pain reliever, take charge of your health and find out exactly what you are getting.

UnitedHealth Group medical experts recommend you ask your doctor these questions about any opioid prescription. Common opioid brand names include Vicodin and Percocet.

Why do I need this medicine? Ask your doctor for reasons why it is right for you.

Are there other options that will address my pain? Opioids are not the only option for treating pain. Other options are available. An over-the-counter pain reliever (such as Tylenol®, Aleve® or Advil®) may be enough, or, physical therapy or chiropractic care could give the same results.

How long do I take this? Extended opioid use can increase the risk of dependence and addiction. Talk with your doctor about how long you should take the medicine and whether it should be refilled.

Opioids can be deadly when mixed with other drugs, especially those taken for treatment of anxiety, sleeping disorders and seizures. It’s a bad idea to mix alcohol with an opioid pain reliever.



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