Commonly Prescribed Opioids: How to Use Them Safely

medicine containers and pills

At our medicine shoppe in Cape Coral, we keep our customers educated on the drugs they use for their daily treatment and wellness. Today, we want to shed some more light on opioid medication and how they should be used.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to patients in the US in 2017. These are easily abused without proper instruction and advice, leading to the opioid-related substance abuse epidemic that afflicts the country today. This can be averted with proper medication therapy management in Florida.

The five most prescribed opioid medications are:

  1. Hydrocodone and oxycodoneThese two drugs are commonly prescribed for both acute and chronic pain when acetaminophen or NSAIDs do not offer the relief you need. Oxycodone should be taken once every four to six hours or as needed, while hydrocodone extended-release capsules should be taken once every 12 hours. Never take more than prescribed.
  2. OxymorphoneThis is an opioid that is also prescribed when typical pain relievers are not effective. It should be taken on an empty stomach at least one to two hours after meals.
  3. CodeineThis is one of the weaker opioids currently available. Since it targets the area of the brain that controls coughing, it is often used to create cough syrups for colds and influenza. When taking codeine as a cough suppressant, never experiment with the amounts to use. The FDA warns breastfeeding mothers against taking codeine.
  4. MorphineThis is prescribed for treating moderate to severe pain. As a pill, it can be taken with or without food. As a liquid, it comes with a special measuring spoon to measure doses. Never use a tablespoon to take liquid morphine.
  5. FentanylThis powerful opioid is often the cause of many overdose-related deaths. Available as a lozenge, a patch, or an injection, it is only used for chronic, unmanageable pain (particularly advanced cancer pain) and when other opioids no longer work due to tolerance. Never buy fentanyl from illicit sources.

If you have trouble managing opioid medication, call Castillo’s Pharmacy today.

We offer high-quality prescription services, patient education, and diabetes care. Feel free to choose us as your trusted pharmacy in Florida.

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