What do I do if a Doctor Prescribes Medication?

Doctors are not gods. They have a great deal of training and education and know a lot about drugs and how they work in the body, but they don’t know everything. Just because your doctor recommends a certain drug doesn’t mean you have to take it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to seek another opinion if you think it’s necessary. This article will discuss the following: what do I do if a doctor prescribes medication?

Medications are sometimes necessary. If you have a severe infection, they can save your life. Before the advent of antibiotics around the time of World War II, people died from simple infections easily treatable today. A bacterial strep infection called scarlet fever often left children with permanent heart and kidney damage. You don’t hear much about scarlet fever much anymore. Strep infections today are treated before they can turn into serious infections like scarlet fever.

Ask About Alternatives

However, you always have the option to ask your doctor if there is another alternative. Speak up! This is especially true of opioids, which can cause physical dependence in everyone and addiction in those predisposed to it. How do you know if you’re prone to opioid addiction? You don’t. That’s the problem. People have found out about their addiction tendency only after being exposed to opioids. Had they never been exposed, they would not have become addicted. Addiction is thought to be heavily influenced by genes at least half of the time. Environment may also play a role.

However, we need to be fair. Opioids are truly godsent miracle drugs for those in severe pain. They’re necessary after surgery and for some people with chronic pain. Opioids provide a better quality of life for many. The government claims it’s trying to keep opioids out of the hands of abusers and black market sellers while still maintaining a reliable supply for those using them medically. If so, they’re doing a terrible job. There are more prescription opioids for sale on the street than ever. Meantime, pharmacies turn away legit pain patients all the time. Reasons include overly judgemental pharmacists and allocation. Allocation means that some authority like the DEA decides how many opioid pills a pharmacy can order per month.

This allocation is often based on someone’s arbitrary idea of how much the pharmacy should use, not on the facts. For example, a pharmacy located in the same building as two large pain management physician groups is naturally going to dispense more opioids than a pharmacy not so located. That is common sense. Allocation is stopping legitimate pain patients from getting the medication they need and deserve without doing much to stem the flow of black-market prescription pills.

What to Ask your Doctor

Before accepting an opioid pain medication from your doctor that you’d rather not take, ask about alternatives. There are many non-addictive pain medications available. Ask if those would work for you or if you could at least try one. Celecoxib and high-dose ibuprofen are two examples. If it’s a painful joint, a medication called Voltaren now comes in a topical preparation. There are many other examples.

After talking with your doctor, you may find that he or she would rather not prescribe the opioid anyway. They probably prescribe certain opioids because many doctors are creatures of habit and tend to prescribe the same medications for certain conditions over and over. Typically, these are meds the doctor knows well. Sometimes, a detail person from the drug’s manufacturer has strongly influenced the doctor’s prescribing habits. Also, many patients expect an opioid and may become unhappy if they don’t receive one. This is also true of antibiotics. Patients with a viral cold will demand an antibiotic without understanding that antibiotics are useless against viruses.

Call us for Help

If you’d like to know more about medications and opioid alternatives, call us anytime at 833-497-3812. Let us help you with some questions to ask your doctor. We’ll give you the information you need to make a truly informed decision.