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Dental – Learn the Facts: Opioids and Pain Management

Panel 1:

YOU are the most important member of your healthcare team. Ask questions and get the FACTS before taking opioids to manage your pain.

WHAT IS AN OPIOID?

An opioid is a strong prescription pain medication. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, dizziness and/or constipation.

Generic NameBrand Name
CodeineTylenol® #3* or #4*
FentanylDuragesic®
HydrocodoneVicodin®*, Norco®*
HydromorphoneDilaudid®
MethadoneMethadose®
MorphineMS Contin®, Kadian
OxycodonePercocet®*, OxyContin®
OxymorphoneOpana®
TramadolUltram®, Ultracet®*

* Contains acetaminophen (Tylenol). Use caution if you’re also taking acetaminophen separately.


Panel 2:

DISCUSS WITH YOUR DENTIST

  • ALL medications you are taking, including:
    • Antidepressants (like Prozac® or Celexa®)
    • Sedatives (like Ambien® or Seroquel®)
    • Benzodiazepines (like Valium, Xanax, or Klonopin®)
    • Other prescription pain medications
    • Recreational drugs
  • How long you should expect to have pain.
  • If you can use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) to manage your pain.
  • What you should do if your pain is not controlled.
  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Using opioid medications can cause harm to a fetus, including neonatal abstinence syndrome.

 


Panel 3:

UNDERSTANDING PAIN AFTER A PROCEDURE

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Pain after a procedure is normal and is usually worst the first 1–3 days.
  • Your pain may be well controlled with a schedule of over-the-counter medications.
  • Pain medication is only one part of your pain management plan.
  • Other things you can do to help manage pain:
    • ice
    • soft food diet
    • massage area of dental work
    • relaxation
    • meditation
    • music

 

USING OPIOIDS SAFELY:

  • Use opioids for severe pain that cannot be controlled with over-the-counter medications or other non-opioid prescriptions.
  • As your pain gets better, stop using or use fewer opioids and continue taking over-the-counter
    pain medications.
  • DO NOT mix opioids with alcohol, benzodiazepines (like Valium or Xanax), muscle relaxers or other medications that can cause sleepiness.
  • Only use the opioids for your acute (short-term) dental pain. Do not use your opioids for other reasons.

 

If your pain is manageable, do not use your opioids.


Panel 4

KNOW THE RISKS

You are at higher risk of developing a DEPENDENCE OR ADDICTION to opioids if you:

HAVE A HISTORY OF:

  • Abusing alcohol, prescription, or recreational drugs
  • Using tobacco
  • Depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders
  • Long-term (chronic) pain

 

TAKE OPIOIDS FOR LONGER THAN A FEW DAYS

TAKE OPIOIDS MORE OFTEN THAN YOUR DENTIST PRESCRIBED

You are at risk of an OVERDOSE if you:

HAVE A HISTORY OF:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Other breathing problems

 

MIX OPIOIDS WITH:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines (like Valium® or Xanax®)
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Any medications that can cause drowsiness
  • Recreational drugs

 

TAKE OPIOIDS MORE OFTEN THAN YOUR DENTIST PRESCRIBED

DO NOT SHARE YOUR OPIOIDS with others. Diversion (sharing or selling) of opioids is a felony.


Panel 5:

SAFE STORAGE AND DISPOSAL

Store opioids out of sight and reach of children, teens, and pets

  • Store opioids in private areas and lock up your pills if possible.
  • Do not store your opioids in common rooms in the house (like bathrooms, kitchens) or in purses.
  • Keep a count of how many pills you have left.

 

Dispose of all unused opioids

  • Use a permanent medication drop box. To find one near you, visit: Michigan-OPEN.org/takebackmap
  • Drop off at a community Medication Take Back event.
  • Use your household trash as a last resort.
    • Mix opioids (do not crush) with used coffee grounds or kitty litter in a plastic bag and throw away.
    • Scratch out personal information on the prescription label and dispose of the original container.

 

Do NOT flush opioids down the toilet.


Information in this brochure was developed by Michigan OPEN for the typical patient with your condition. It does not replace medical advice from your health care provider as your experience may differ from the typical patient. Questions about this document, your condition or your treatment should be discussed with your health care provider.

Michigan OPEN is partially funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
03.2021