Treatment of chronic pain usually involves medicines in combination with alternative therapies. However, medications can work differently for different people. To help figure out what is best for you, our team offers medical management services. We will determine what medications will help you best on an ongoing basis based on the results. We will consider over-the-counter options, as well as prescribed drugs. When reviewing prescribed drugs, we always keep possible side effects in mind when creating your treatment plan.
Common chronic pain medications include:
- Medications containing acetaminophen: These medications can be used as a first line of defence against chronic pain. However, too much acetaminophen can damage your liver, especially if you drink alcohol. Acetaminophen is found in Tylenol.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medicines can also be found over the counter. Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, and Aleve all contain NSAIDs. Side effects from NSAIDs include increased bruising, bleeding in the stomach, kidney damage, high blood pressure, and interference with blood pressure medications.
- Antidepressants: Not only are they able to treat chronic pain relief, but they also treat nerve damage, arthritis, fibromyalgia, headache, low back pain, and pelvic pain. Possible side effects of antidepressants include nausea, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, dizziness, and heart disease.
- Anticonvulsant medications: These medications can also be prescribed for some patients. Side effects of the anticonvulsants include drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, restlessness, dizziness, loss of appetite, weight gain, itching, or swelling.
Narcotics and Opioids
On rare occasions, healthcare providers prescribe narcotics or opioids to treat chronic pain. However, they are highly addictive. Opioid use, abuse, and adverse consequences, including death, have escalated. As of 2017, 92% of physicians and patients believed that opioids reduce pain, and 57% of patients reported improved quality of life. There are regulations and guidelines in place for responsible opioid prescribing. Once the pain has eased, medical professionals work with patients to prevent serious withdrawal symptoms. They may also change the prescription to another drug or stop the medication completely.
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