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Can I Ask My Doctor for Stronger Painkillers?
Updated June 20, 2014.
Question: Can I Ask My Doctor for Stronger Painkillers?
One of the key components of managing chronic pain is finding the right painkiller. When you have acute pain, medications can be adjusted based on the type of pain you have. However, in chronic pain this is often a challenge.
- Is your current medication becoming less effective at controlling your pain?
- Is your daily routine getting harder?
- Is your quality of life decreasing?
Asking for Stronger Painkillers: Will I Look Like an Addict?
While it is true that opioid painkillers are one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs, asking for them does not necessarily target you as an addict. Many people with chronic pain conditions simply cannot manage their pain with other types of medications. The attitudes toward the role of opioids in pain management are also changing.
Studies show that with careful monitoring, addiction and abuse are not usually issues for people with legitimate chronic pain conditions.
Most physicians will consider the benefits of a stronger painkiller versus the potential risks. While it’s true that stronger painkillers like opioids carry a higher risk of tolerance and abuse, if they could possibly increase your quality of life they are worth a try. For the best outcomes, your doctor should follow up with your treatment regularly.
Remember: You can also do a trial of stronger painkillers to determine if they are right for you.
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If you are not happy with them, simply talk to your doctor about weaning off and trying something else.
Asking for Stronger Painkillers: Common Concerns
Chou Roger, Fanciullo Gilbert J, Fine Perry G et al. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Chronic Opioid Therapy in Chronic Noncancer Pain. The Journal of Pain. Volume 10, Issue 2. Pages 113-130.e22 (February 2009)