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It is important to get your “Dose of Reality” about the risks and dangers of using prescription painkillers, as well as the signs of misuse, before it becomes a problem for you or your loved ones.

What Should I Ask my Doctor About a Prescription?

It’s important to understand the prescription painkiller or other medication you’re being prescribed, how it can help you, and how to properly take it.

Here are some questions to ask your doctor when he or she prescribes a medication:

  • What does the medication do?
  • Why are you suggesting this particular prescription?
  • How, when, and for how long should I take it?
  • What are the side effects? Are they minor or major? Are they common?
  • Does the medication contain anything that may cause an allergic reaction?
  • Have long-term studies been done on this drug?
  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
  • Is this dosage specific for me, or is it a one-dose-fits-all dosage?
  • Can I start out at a lower dosage and adjust if needed?
  • Is there anything I should avoid eating or drinking while taking this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose or take a dose incorrectly?
  • Are there any non-drug alternatives?
  • How should I store my medication and how long can I keep it? (See our Safe Storage page for additional information)

Print these questions and bring them with you to your appointment.

Remember, there are effective painkillers available that are non-narcotic, as well as other treatments including exercise and physical therapy. Know your options, and talk with your prescribing medical professional about whether you should consider alternatives available to you and your family.