Medication used for Chronic Pain Management

Why do I need Pain Medicine?

The most common way to treat pain is the use of analgesic medication or commonly known as ëPain Killersí. Pain (killer) Medicine is an important part of the treatment plan to get you better.

The pain medicine in chronic pain is not only for making the pain less, but has the very important job of improving sleep, helping the patient to take part in exercises, other treatments, and during day-to-day activities (E.g. walking, cooking, going to work).

Why do I need more than one pain medicine?

When you have a chronic pain problem, there can be a few types of pain or one pain medicine does not seem to help with the pain. The doctor would choose to use more than one pain medicine as treatment. This will make the pain medicine work better for you and you will have lesser side-effects. Your doctor will work out the balance for the different pain medicine by checking on the pain relief and side effects that you have.

The main groups of pain medication include:

  1. Simple Pain Medicine
    • Paracetamol (E.g. Panadol, Norgesic)
    • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (E.g.Ibuprofen, Naproxen)
    • COX-2 Inhibitors (E.g. Celebrex, arcoxia)
    • Weak Opioids (Eg. Tramadol and Codeine)
  2. Strong Pain Medicine
    • Opioid (E.g. Morphine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Buprenorphine)
    • Adjuvants (Medicine that make Simple and Strong Pain Medicine work better)
    • Pain Medication to ëcalmí the nerves (E.g. pregabalin, gabapentin, Nortriptyline, Duloxetine)
    • Plasters and Creams (E.g. Lidocaine patch, EMLA Cream, Capsaicin Plaster)
    • Muscle relaxants (E.g. Baclofen)

General Advice when Starting on Your Pain Medicine

When starting on new pain medicine,

  • Take the medicine according to the amount and timing ordered by the doctor
  • Remember what other medicines you are taking. You should tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medicine (includes Chinese medicine) to check for side effects when different drugs mixed together
  • Tell your doctor how and when each pain medicine works at the next visit
  • Look out for any side effects. Common side effects of pain medicine include rashes or itchiness and swollen eyes
  • If there are side effects, stop the medicine and tell your doctor as soon as possible
  • Do not drive or use heavy machines if you feel dizzy or drowsy after taking any medicine
  • Do not drink alcohol (e.g. beer, wine, brandy) when taking pain medicine, as it may make it more likely to get side effects