Pain management is something I’m faced with everyday as a pharmacist. Pregnancy, geriatrics, pediatrics, and polypharmacy are a few of the many challenges in pain management that can sometimes make choosing an analgesic feel near impossible. Here’s 4 critical pearls you need to think about.
- Type: What type of pain you are treating is essential to know. Neuropathic pain management varies greatly from the pain management associated with migraines. Know what you are treating and the best practices for each.
- Some pain is ok:. I’m not advocating for ignoring our patients complaints, but I think back to being in high school and having a sprained ankle. The pain with that is expected and in an acute situation, no pain is unrealistic. Risks of opioids must not be taken lightly in any population, but definitely need to be used with extreme care in our younger population.
- Non-drug therapies: Even in patient who require medications for pain management, we can always try to identify solutions that might lessen pain in the non-pill form.
- Identify the risks in different patient populations: Every medication class has its ups and downs. Those pluses and minuses will be more or less important depending upon whether your patient is pregnant or 96 years old.
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