Pharmacist Pain Tips

Ask A Pharmacist

Pharmacist Pain Tips

Acute Pain On Top of Chronic Pain

  • During this time extra pain meds may be needed. Discuss with your doctor and pharmacist what to take, how often, and for how long.
  • It is understood that during this acute pain period more medication may be necessary. 24-48 hour regularly scheduled medication may be required to control pain back to baseline.

Making the most out of your doctor visit

Focus on 1 symptom (most bothersome) per doctor visit

  • For example; pain, sleep, fatigue, medication side effect.

Keep a pain diary for a few weeks

  • At the beginning of each day record how you slept the night before. 
  • Record your pain score 0-10 with 0 meaning no pain, and 10 meaning worst pain. 
  • Record your activity at the time of pain scoring and methods used to relieve pain.
  • Record if your intervention improved the pain (0-10 scale). How long did the pain last? Describe the nature of the pain (location, does it travel, dull, sharp, achy, piercing, burning, numbness, throbbing, deep, did the pain wake you up?).
  • Review your diary before the visit for patterns of pain to discuss with your doctor. Take the diary to your appointment.

Internet information and printed patient information on medication and natural therapies

  • Information you read may not apply to your specific needs, medical history or medication history. 
  • If prescribed an “anti-depressant” or “anti-convulsant” for pain it does NOT mean you necessarily are depressed or that you have seizures. 
  • Most drug information sheets are very general and all items may not pertain to you. Discuss the specifics with your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Be wary of “cures” advertised on the internet. 
  • Therapies (non-medication and medication) require scientific research to provide unbiased information.

Travelling with your Medications

  • Ask your pharmacist to supply each medication in 2 split vials, one with the quantity needed for the duration of your trip plus a couple extra days (in the event of a delay).
  • The second vial is the larger supply that you can leave at home. 
  • This will give you a much smaller, less bulky supply to carry.
  • Always have your medication in their original containers from the pharmacy. 
  • Always travel with your medications in your carry-on luggage.

Janice Sumpton RPh., BScPhm.        August  2010