Information for the public

Information about taking strong opioids

Information about taking strong opioids

If you are offered strong opioids, your healthcare professional should discuss them fully with you (and, as appropriate, your family and/or carer) and should give you some written information about them. They should explain:

  • when and why strong opioids are used to treat pain

  • how effective they are likely to be at relieving your pain

  • about taking strong opioids for 'background pain' (pain that is constant and continuous) and 'breakthrough pain' (sudden, intense pain in addition to background pain),including how, when and how often to take them, and how long pain relief should last

  • possible side effects, and signs to watch out for that might mean there is too much of the medication in your system

  • how to store strong opioids safely

  • how the pain control and any side effects will be monitored, and how and when you will get your next prescription

  • who you can contact outside of surgery hours if you have any problems, particularly when you first start treatment.

  • Information Standard