Recently we had a question about prescriptions and thought it was a good topic to discuss. Someone was intentionally taking more of their prescription then they were prescribed and therefore run out before their refill was due.
Now we all know in the attempt to prevent drug overdose deaths, this is a huge issue impacting our medical providers and why some medicines are now more controlled than they were before or have been modified because of unintentional overdose of things like Tylenol. But this is how we (I) responded in private discussion:
I’ll be honest, you should never take more than directed. #1 Because there may be potential interactions that don’t occur at low dosages that occur with higher dosages. #2 Because you run out early. #3 The more you are taking the more chance your doing damage to your body (digestive track), heart muscle, brain, liver, pancreas, that when too much is ingested, you run the risk of killing yourself (hence why they dropped the amount of Tylenol in Vicodin and Lortab). #4 Because your doctor WON’T TRUST YOU and may label you as a narco addict and leave you high and dry for many doctors to come. If it is getting bad you need to get a reevaluation to determine where you are at and where you are going. Ultimately you need to own up to what you did, IMMEDIATELY, apologize and ask for that reevaluation.
But I’ll be honest with you, the ONLY WAY you will regain his trust, is if you take less than you need. My doctors listen to me because I take as LITTLE as I need to survive so when I asked them for a prescription for my treatment I’m doing now, they didn’t even question it, because they know I’m trying to avoid medicine, avoid that “addict” label so many of us get. My mother and I both have this and it was her backing off on her medicine for an entire month (as in NO PAIN PILLS for an entire month) that helped not only prove to her doctors she was trying harder than anyone to be without medicine. When I asked her why she simply reminded me that over time your body and brain become “used” to the medicine and builds up a resistance, so a month off, it looses that tolerance and it starts to work again. So she has not left that dosage of Vicodin in years since doing this.
Please, please, please do NOT self medicate, change your medicinal, supplement, treatment habits without first consulting your medical team. In many states, doctors are required to do periodic drug tests on you to verify if you are taking your proper dosages of your prescription so we highly recommend tell them the truth if you are adding in things like medicinal cannabis and/or supplements. Because if it comes up, you could be asked to explain and/or could be denied your medicine for a length of time.
Long Term Reasons to Actively Communicate
Honestly, many medications have side effects that are still unknown due the lack of knowledge of potential repercussions of their long-term use. So communicating with you doctor proactively can help avoid creating potential mistrust with your doctor and allow them to help you with addressing these potential repercussions of our long-term needs as they might come up.
Accidental Prescription Overdose Does Happen
And for those of us who think we have accidentally took more than they are prescribed, please go to an urgent care/ER to make sure that if you are in danger, you are still with us for another day.