FAQ’s on Pain Medication Management
What is Pain Medication?
Pain medication is one of the most used forms of treatment in instances where a patient is experiencing symptoms of pain from one or more conditions. Many patients will already be familiar with the concept of pain medication, as they likely will have encountered it first hand at their local pharmacy or supermarket. With a number of medications tailored to specific purposes, pain medication can be helpful in the treatment for nearly every cause of pain.
What is the purpose of Pain Medication?
While the administration of pain medication will not cure the patient of any ailment, it will provide a large step forward in obtaining relief for the present condition. Pain medication can be given for a number of reasons. For some, relief is temporary with strong medication and a short duration, such as with surgery. The relief can also be long-lasting from medication taken daily, such as for those who have been prescribed a multiple-day treatment following an injury.
While great for the management of symptoms, the root cause of pain must still be treated in order for the patient to obtain permanent relief. It is normal for pain medication to only be given as long as is needed to maintain relief until this casue3 can be corrected.
What kinds of Pain Medications are used?
Patients will be given one of four medication types in order to treat their specific conditions. These medications range from simple over-the-counter (OTC) medications, to prescription-strength versions of these given to patients who have been diagnosed by a physician. The other two medication types are composed of corticosteroids and opioids.
Over-the-counter medications as a whole are household names that many patients will already be accustomed to using due to their availability. These medications largely consist of either NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) or acetaminophens. While each can be beneficial to a patient in providing relief, the method of how they function differs significantly.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen function by lowering the body’s production of prostaglandins, which are pain causing hormone-like substances. Acetaminophens however work by blocking the signals of pain sent to the brain. Aspirin-free Excedrin and Tylenol are the most commonly taken acetaminophens. One important note is that while both of these medications will help provide relief to a patient, acetaminophen based medications will not affect the presence of inflammation nor help provide relief for it.
The next tier comes in the form of prescription-strength medication. While these can be improved versions of the OTC medications, this tier houses both corticosteroids and opioids among other medications such as antidepressants. Corticosteroids are given to patients who are suffering an asthmatic or allergen based condition to help reduce both the inflammation present and the pain being experienced.
Opioids are given only to patients with severe cases of pain. While still technically a prescription drug, they are also classified as a narcotic and are heavily monitored by both physicians and by the government. Common examples of these include morphine and oxycodone.
The extent of medication success will be based on a number of factors, including both the dosage given and how well the patient follows their medication instructions. Other factors that may affect the success of medication include the severity of the pain-causing condition and on the patients’ individual susceptibility to medication. For many, pain medication is a very successful tool that helps provide relief for their condition.
What are the risks of Pain Medication?
Provided that the patient follows their individual medication instructions, the risks associated are very minimal. Potential risks will vary by medication and may include nausea, tiredness, or inability to focus. The largest risk present with medication is that it will not be effective for the patient.
San Diego pain management clinics serve Oceanside, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encenitas, El Cajon, Escondido, Chula Vista, La Mesa, National City and surrounding areas.
Let the California Pain Network help connect you with the best pain management San Diego offers. Simply fill out the contact form on the page or call (619) 500-1573 for assistance!