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Amidst the opioid crisis that is affecting Rhode Island and the nation, Lifespan has been working to improve the health and safety of our patients with regard to the delivery of opioids. As a result, all patients who are prescribed opioids will soon receive safety information that will include the following important information.
Opioids are prescription pain relievers. They are available in different forms, including pills, patches, sprays, lozenges, suppositories and injections. There are two basic types of opioid pain medications:
The side effects of opioid use can range from mild to severe. The most common is constipation. If this happens, your doctor may tell you to take a stool softener or laxative, add more fiber to your diet, and drink plenty of fluids. Other common side effects may include:
There are a number of risks that come with the use of opioids that you should be aware of:
Whenever you are taking a prescribed medication, be sure you understand all the instructions. If you have a question, always ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you experience any of the following, it’s critical that you receive immediate medical care. Call 9-1-1 if you are:
Keith-Austin Scarfo, DO, MS, is a board certified physician in both Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Dr. Scarfo is on staff at Rhode Island Hospital with the Comprehensive Spine Center and holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor – Department of Neurosurgery, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.