5 questions to ask your doctor about opioids

It's important to get as much information as possible.


An opioid is a prescription medication used to control pain. If not used correctly, opioids can be dangerous and even deadly. Before taking an opioid you’ve been prescribed, it’s important to get as much information as possible. Here, we’ve outlined five questions you can ask your doctor or dentist.


Why do I need this medication?

Ask your doctor why it is right for you and how long you should take it. After a simple procedure, some people may need just one or two doses.

Are there other safer options that will help my pain?

Opioids are not the only option for treating pain. An over-the-counter pain reliever may be enough. Other care, like physical therapy, could give the same results.


Can we minimize my exposure?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific guidelines that direct doctors to prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest length of time possible.

What are my risks for addiction?

Anyone can become addicted to opioids. The risks increase after just three days of use. Opioids are not like antibiotics. You do not need to finish the whole prescription.

How does this medicine mix with other medicines I’m taking?

Opioids can be deadly when mixed with other drugs. And you should never mix alcohol with an opioid.



  • UnitedHealthcare


The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.