1. My opioid medication is safe to take for a long time.

false

We used to think that opioid medications were safe. We now know that this is not always true. Long-term treatment with opioid therapy needs to be carefully monitored to prevent an accidental overdose. You may be at risk of harm from opioids, even if you have been on them for some time. 

For more information on opioids, watch the Question Opioids video series by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

 

2. Overdose can still happen, even if I'm taking my medication as directed by my doctor.

True

Accidental overdoses can occur at any dose, even when taking an opioid medication as prescribed. Higher doses increase your risk of overdose. 

The Institute for Safe Medical Practices' Question Opioids video series offers additional information.

 

3. High doses of an opioid medication are riskier than lower doses of the same medication.

true

Higher doses of opioids rarely provide better pain relief for people with chronic pain and can actually make pain worse. The risks of life-threatening side effects from opioids begin with small daily doses and the risk increases as the dose goes up. 

For more information on opioids, view this infographic by the Institute for Safe Medical Practices.

 

4. Only opioids can relieve my chronic pain.

 False

There are many alternative therapies that can be used to improve your function. Your doctor can help you find safer alternative treatment options to help manage your chronic pain. 

This video offers alternative options.


Learn more

See our website about medication safety

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