What should I ask my doctor about a prescription?

It’s important to understand the prescription painkiller or other medication you’re being prescribed, the alternatives, the risks and potential benefits, and how to properly take it.

You can also ask your doctor these questions when he or she prescribes a medication:

  • What does the medication do?
  • Why are you suggesting this particular prescription?
  • How, when and for how long should I take it?
  • What are the side effects? Are they minor or major? Are they common?
  • Does the medication contain anything that may cause an allergic reaction?
  • Have long-term studies been done on this drug?
  • Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
  • Is this dosage specific for me, or is it a one-dose-fits-all dosage?
  • Can I start out at a lower dosage and adjust if needed?
  • Is there anything I should avoid eating or drinking while taking this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose or take a dose incorrectly?
  • Are there any non-drug alternatives?
  • How should I store my medication and how long can I keep it? (See Safe Storage for additional information.)

Remember, there are effective painkillers available that are non-narcotic. Talk with your prescribing medical professional about whether you should consider alternatives available to you and your family.

Opioids are closely regulated in Tennessee.  Tennessee law (Public Chapter 1039) limits the duration and dosage of opioid prescriptions for new patients, with some exceptions.

Pain clinics are also closely regulated by the State and declined to 126 in 2018. This represents at 62% decrease from the peak number (333) in 2014.

The State has new guidelines for Pain Clinics.