February 16, 2014

Tips for pain medicine users

Some thoughts on prescription safety~

I would like to share some things that I've learned over that past two years regarding pain meds and even other prescriptions too.  I decided to do this as a list so that it's easy to skim through and I can add to it if I need to.

  1. Never ever walk out of your pain doctor's office with a prescription in hand. It should be out of site in your purse, wallet, or anywhere else you can put it. You are an easy target for someone looking to grab one if it's in your hand!  Sadly there are people out there that would do just that. Same thing goes at the pharmacy. Don't walk in holding your prescription in your hand. 
  2. Pay attention when you leave that you are not followed. What's even better than a free prescription for pain meds...a brand new bottle of pain meds. You cannot go back to your doctor to get another prescription nor will your insurance pay for one if it has been less than about twenty five days or so. Take care to keep it safe. 
  3. Be prepared to show your drivers license or state issued I.D. when you pick up your meds. I think that this is common sense, but wanted to list it as a reminder. 
  4. Use the same pharmacy for all of your prescriptions. There are several reasons for this. The most obvious is so that your pharmacist can check for drug interactions between all of your medications. The other reason is so that you don't look suspicious going to multiple pharmacies.  I actually do use two pharmacies. I have to get my pain medication filled at one location and everything else at CVS. Not all large pharmacies are willing to order a med for you. It seems they only want to order the meds that they use the most. True story!  A smaller pharmacy will (usually) be happy to get anything that you need with some exceptions. I use CVS for all of my other prescriptions for convenience. 
  5. Count your pills as soon as you get home. I have not started this myself, but I need to. I hate to say this, but an employee of the pharmacy could be taking your pills. They may use them for themselves or even sell them.  Your pain doctor can refuse to treat you if you keep coming up short each month especially if you don't know how it happened. 
  6. Make sure that you pull the labels off of your prescription bottles and tear them up before throwing them away. Shred the information sheets that the pharmacy prints as well. These both contain a lot of information including your name and address. Anyone could find that same information if you throw it in the trash.  
  7. Limit the number of people that know you are taking pain medicine. It is a security risk and also a subject of gossip. No matter why you take it there will always be someone who thinks you either don't need it or that you are addicted to it.  I will explain the difference between addiction and dependance in another post. 
  8. Do tell your loved ones and/or a close friend that you CAN trust. You need people in your life that you can talk to about your condition and your pain medicine. They also need to know in case there was ever some type of emergency.  
This list will be updated from time to time. If you have any thoughts to add to this list leave me a comment.   Thank you!

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