There are many types of medications that can treat your pain and help you live an active life-style.
- Non-narcotic medications, such as neuro-modulating agents (e.g. Lyrica), anti-depressants, and anti-inflammatories, are just a few options that we provide. A major area of current research is the use of non-narcotic medications to alleviate pain. These medications can provide pain relief while reducing many of the potential harmful side effects.
- Narcotic medications, such as opioids, are also options we provide. For some patients, these medications can be an effective means for pain management. Dr. Zollinger adheres to safe opioid prescribing practices and protocols. See “Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy Statement (COAT)” for more information.
Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy (COAT) Statement:
Opioids (also known as narcotics) for the treatment of chronic pain carry significant risks that patients need to be aware of prior to initiating this treatment option. Risks include but are not limited to tolerance (loss of therapeutic effectiveness over time), addiction, opioid induced hyperalgesia (yes, it is proven that narcotics for chronic pain can have the opposite intended effect by increasing pain and not reducing it) and overdose, which can be fatal. These risks increase at higher doses, which is why we strive either to eliminate the need for narcotics by using non-narcotic treatment options or to reduce the doses to safer levels. We follow the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pain Medicine. We also follow the recommendations provided by government agencies. At Sweetwater Pain and Spine, we monitor the safe delivery of opioids by performing urine drug testing for our patients. Also, all patients are required to sign a medication agreement prior to initiating chronic opioid analgesic therapy.