Skip to main content

Prescription Opioid Overdose

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about an opioid overdose?

An overdose means you used too much of an opioid pain medicine, such as oxycodone or fentanyl. An opioid overdose is a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate medical care.

What can lead to an opioid overdose?

What are the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose?

What is overmedication?

Overmedication means you used more of the opioid than your body can handle. Overmedication can lead to poisoning if not stopped or treated. The following are signs and symptoms to watch for:

How is an opioid overdose diagnosed and treated?

Healthcare providers will check your pupils and breathing. The amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood will be measured. Other tests may check the amount of opioid in your blood, or the effect on your health. If you are awake and aware, providers will ask about your opioid use. Treatment may include any of the following:

What can I do to prevent or stop another overdose?

You may need to take a different kind of pain medicine after a surgery or injury. You can also talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage pain without medicine. If you do need to take an opioid, the following can help prevent or stop an overdose:

What do I need to know about opioid safety?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US), or have someone else call if:

When should I or someone close to me call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Learn more about Prescription Opioid Overdose

Care guides

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.