There is a huge opioid epidemic and over 30,000 Americans die each year from unintentional prescription drug overdoses. We doctors must do our part to curb this epidemic.

An acute injury which is seen in the emergency room can be the start of a rocky road if prescription narcotics are taken too often. I often advise patients to take a combination of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen or Naprosyn.These drugs can be taken at the same time without fear of toxicity and should only be taken according to directions on the bottle or as directed by your doctor.

Unfortunately in the case of bony fractures, drugs like Naprosyn and Ibuprofen should not always be taken, as this class of drugs can impair bone healing. It is still ok to take Tylenol however.

Sometimes narcotics are prescribed and should ideally be taken at the lowest dose possible for the shortest time. Try to take a baseline dose of Tylenol and Naprosyn with the narcotics for breakthrough pain. Be careful as many narcotics also contain Tylenol and too much Tylenol can be bad for the liver.

Try to understand that when your doctor is hesitant to prescribe narcotics for your acute or chronic pain condition, he or she is trying to do the right thing. More is not always better. There are other nonprescription alternatives to managing pain. These include meditation, acupuncture, acupressure, exercise just to name a few.

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