Questions to ask the doctor or pharmacist
If you’re a carer for someone living with pain or someone who takes pain medication, it’s important to find out if their medicines contain opioids. Opioids are powerful medicines. Strong and effective when used as directed by the doctor (see factsheet 1). But, they can come with a risk of harm including side-effects or even dependence (see factsheet 2).
The doctor or pharmacist should be happy to answer any questions you may have about opioids.
Below are some suggestions to help you during these conversations. Feel free to add more if you or the person you care for have other questions.
Are there other medicines that should NOT be taken while using the opioid? (including over-the-counter medicines).
- How much of the medicine should they take and in what form?
- How often do they need to take the medication?
- How long should they take it for?
I’m worried the person I’m caring for is not taking opioids correctly. How can I talk to them about this or is there someone who can help?
List of the factsheets available from Carers Australia
- Factsheet 1: How do I know if the person I’m caring for is taking opioid medicines?
- Factsheet 2: How can I support the person I’m caring for with taking their opioid medicines?
- Factsheet 3: How can I identify if a person I’m caring for is not using their opioid medicines safely?
- Factsheet 4: Will the person I’m caring for still have access to opioid medicines?
- Factsheet 5: How can I help someone living with pain?
More resources that may help carers of people taking pain medicines can be found on these websites
- Carers Gateway
- Carer Help
- NPS MedicineWise,
- Pain Australia,
- National Pain Week,
- Australian Pain Management Association,
- Chronic Pain Australia,
- Palliative Care Australia (Questions PDF),
- HealthDirect (Question Builder).
- Think Patient Think Carer (NSW Health PDF).
Checklist: Are you a carer for someone living with pain? Do you want to learn more about their opioid pain medication?
7 May 2021 – 348.66 KB
Information pack – Opioids checklist and factsheets
7 May 2021 – 1.72 MB