Pain Medicine Instructions

ExitCare ImageYou have been given a prescription for pain medicines. These medicines may affect your ability to think clearly. They may also affect your ability to perform physical activities. Take these medicines only as needed for pain. You do not need to take them if you are not having pain, unless directed by your caregiver. You can take less than the prescribed dose if you find a smaller amount of medicine controls the pain. It may not be possible to make all of your pain go away, but you should be comfortable enough to move, breathe, and take care of yourself.

After you start taking pain medicines, while taking the medicines, and for 8 hours after stopping the medicines:

  • Do not drive.

  • Do not operate machinery.

  • Do not operate power tools.

  • Do not sign legal documents.

  • Do not supervise children by yourself.

  • Do not participate in activities that require climbing or being in high places.

  • Do not enter a body of water (lake, river, ocean, spa, swimming pool) without an adult nearby who can help you.

You may have been prescribed a pain medicine that contains acetaminophen (paracetamol). If so, take only the amount directed by your caregiver. Do not take any other acetaminophen while taking this medicine. An overdose of acetaminophen can result in severe liver damage. If you are taking other medicines, check the active ingredients for acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is found in hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medicines. These include cold relief products, menstrual cramp relief medicines, fever-reducing medicines, acid indigestion relief products, and pain relief products.


  • Do not drink alcohol, take sleeping pills, or take other medicines until at least 8 hours after your last dose of pain medicine, or as directed by your caregiver.

  • Use a bulk stool softener if you become constipated from your pain medicines. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will also help.

  • Write down the times when you take your medicines. Look at the times before taking your next dose of medicine. It is easy to become confused while on pain medicines. Recording the times helps you to avoid an overdose.


  • Your medicine is not helping the pain go away.

  • You vomit or have diarrhea shortly after taking the medicine.

  • You develop new pain in areas that did not hurt before.


  • You feel dizzy or faint.

  • You feel there are other problems that might be caused by your medicine.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.