Talking to your doctor can help you understand the medicine you are taking and how it helps you in your recovery.

You should always feel comfortable to ask your doctor or pharmacist questions. To get the most out of your conversation it’s a good idea to think about what you may want to ask. Here are some common questions which help you get the information you need:

Taking the medicine:

  • How long do I need to take it?
  • How safe are opioids?
  • Can I drink alcohol while taking this medication?
  • Can I take this with my other medication?

The expected benefits:

  • How will it help my pain?
  • When should it start to work?
  • How do I know if it’s working?

Possible side effects:

  • How will it impact my health and wellbeing?
  • What are the side effects and risks?
  • What are my chances of becoming dependent?
  • How can I prevent becoming dependent?
  • How do I know if I’m dependent?
  • What should I do if I think I’m dependent?

Other options:

  • Do I have to take opioids?
  • What else can I do?

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to explain more or to repeat what they’ve said. There is often a lot of information to understand. It can be useful to ask them to write down the key points or you can take a friend or family member with you.

To find out more about pain management and care, check out the video below:

 

 


[1] Page reference: NPS MedicineWise (2017), Making wise choices about medicines.