Frequently Asked Questions
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WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON MY FIRST VISIT TO YOUR OFFICE?
On your first visit to our office, you will meet one of our board-certified pain management physicians. They will go over your complete history and the two of you will discuss the best way to design a treatment plan that will guide you to a better quality of life. We always make a physician available to meet with you.
HOW DO I GET MY REFILL ON MY MEDICATIONS?
If you take a Schedule II medication (such as opiate-based pain medications or stimulants), you must schedule an office visit to request a refill. Be sure to schedule your appointment early enough so that you don’t run out of your medication.
You can contact your pharmacy for other refills. If your prescription has expired, the pharmacy will contact our office for authorization. You should allow about 72 hours for refill authorization.
WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY PAIN MEDICINE?
Take it exactly as prescribed. It’s a good idea to take it at the same time each day, when possible. Even if you’re not feeling pain, you should take your medication on a regular schedule.
WILL I BECOME ADDICTED TO NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATIONS?
Just because you’re taking a narcotic-based medication doesn’t mean you’ll become addicted. Be sure to take your medication only as prescribed. If you’ve never had an addictive disorder or a history of addiction, addiction is less likely. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have concerns.
WHY DO I NEED TO TAKE MORE AND MORE OF MY MEDICINE TO HAVE THE SAME EFFECT?
When you take a narcotic-based medicine over a period of time, your body can develop a tolerance for it. It’s a normal reaction for the initial dosage to lose its effectiveness over time. This increased tolerance to a drug is not the same as addiction. Sometimes your genetic makeup can determine how much medication you take to get an effect as well. Talk to your doctor—you may need to change medication or dosage.
SOME DAYS MY ACUTE PAIN IS MUCH WORSE THAN OTHERS. WHAT CAN I DO?
You might try observing the times at which you’re in more pain than usual—for example, at a certain time of day, or during or after certain activities. Depending on the situation, you may discover you can alter the activity that causes increased pain, or take your medication prior to the activity or the time of day, to prevent the increased pain. Always check with your doctor before altering your medication schedule.
WHAT CAN MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY DO TO HELP WITH MY PAIN?
Friends and family can help by encouraging you to live as normally and independently as possible.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF PAIN MEDICATIONS?
The most common side effects of pain medications are:
- Dry mouth
Most of these side effects are mild. A rash, tightness in your chest or throat, or difficulty swallowing are NOT expected side effects and may be an indication that you are allergic to the medication you’re taking, and you should inform your doctor or our staff immediately. Sometimes side effects can be caused because of the unique way you metabolize medication. Pharmacogenetic testing might shed some light on helping to determine the best medication for you!