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Should you always take what your doctor prescribes?

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You might not believe "too much of a good thing" is a real problem. But, in some cases, a doctor can go too far when prescribing medications.

One former Ohio doctor lost his job for allegedly prescribing too much pain medication to his patients. And recent reports suggest 25 people lost their lives as a result.

Doctor may have illegally taken patients' lives

Charged with murdering 25 patients through fentanyl overdoses, the doctor maintains he was trying to provide comfort to people who were dying. But considering the opioid crisis nationwide, it is surprising that the doctor was able to abuse prescription protocols at the Mount Carmel hospital where he worked.

Between 1999 and 2017, nearly 218,000 Americans died due to problems associated with prescription opioids. However, in this case, some patients were critically ill or unconscious. As a result, they were likely unaware of what the doctor was doing.

As with most patients, you probably trust your doctor to provide ethical care. However, now with a suspended medical license, this former doctor will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

How much do you know about the drugs your doctor prescribes? If you suffer from chronic pain and have an opioid prescription, be sure to understand what fentanyl is and does before following your doctor's orders.

Three things you should know about fentanyl

Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller that is highly addictive. Many people in Ohio abuse this and other opioids unintentionally

If your doctor prescribes fentanyl to treat pain that you or a loved one is suffering, know that it:

  • Affects your brain and can cause sedation or loss of consciousness
  • Is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine
  • Can limit the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain and cause permanent brain damage, a coma or death

With continued use, your body can develop a tolerance to fentanyl, which could make you feel like you need more of the drug to get pain relief. It is this cycle of increased use that leads to drug addiction.

Don't find out too late that a doctor is over-medicating a loved one. If you don't understand the effects a prescription may have on you or a family member, ask your doctor or talk to another professional.

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