There is the expectation that we will be prescribed a pain relieving medication when we experience pain. Unfortunately many people find that the medication rarely takes away all of their pain and some not at all. It is important to discuss your expectation of the treatment before commencing any medication. All new treatments should be considered as a trial to see how you get on, rather than a possible cure.
It is helpful to keep a record of any medications that you have tried and whether they have helped you and how long you used them for, along with any side effects that you experienced.
Medicines that are prescribed may have side effects or interact with other medications that you take for different conditions. Often the side-effects will diminish over time or can be treated. It is important that there is a balance between using the smallest effective dose that produces the greatest benefit, against any unwanted side effects.
Often a combination of different types of medication can be helpful for managing varying pain experiences.
The aim of most medications is to improve your mobility and function and enable you to engage in some form of exercise programme. A regular review is important to ensure that the medication is providing you with some benefit. It may be that you consider reducing and coming off pain medication if it does not provide you with any real help, this would need to be done with the support of your GP or Pain management team.
Patient information leaflets are available on the following medications from the British Pain Society website link: https://www.britishpainsociety.org/british-pain-society-publications/patient-publications/
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's)
Here is a useful clip about opioids in chronic pain:
This is a resource for both patients and practitioners to support opioid prescribing.