Opioid therapy is a method of treatment for chronic pain, particularly when other treatments have not worked. It is highly effective at relieving pain and improving the mood and everyday functioning of patients.
However, opioids are also highly addictive. That is why the management of opioid therapy is a common challenge for clinics and medical practitioners.
Opioids can cause overdependence and complications if patients are left unsupervised in the treatment method. Opiate drugs help to mediate pain by binding and activating receptors in the nervous system, so they must be carefully monitored by a trusted medical professional.
Starting Opioid Therapy
Opioid therapy usually begins as a short-term solution to pain. Opioid drugs might be initially used as a treatment for an acute exacerbation of chronic pain, pain after surgery, or pain due to physical trauma or severe injury.
Short-term duration for opioid treatment should be enough – there should be nothing more than that, as patients might develop dependence toward the chemicals. Most routine surgeries and trauma treatments do not require strong drug therapy for pain for more than three days. However, it depends on the needs of the patient, and continual medical supervision is required.
In patients who are receiving opioid treatment, the oral route of administering the drug is the most appropriate and widely accepted method. There are other techniques, like transdermal (injection) methods of administration, which can also be applicable in specific situations for constant chronic pain – but these methods require administration once or twice daily.
Oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone are the simplest and most commonly used opioids for the treatment of pain. Opioid doses should have agent-specific schedules to properly maximize the results of pain relief and to increase the maintenance of pain tolerability at the same levels of receiving the medication. That way, the patient will not be tempted to increase their intake of the drug, because their pain will have stabilized and be under control.
How to Avoid Dependence on Opioids
In order to effectively manage their opioid treatments, patients should frequently meet with their physicians or medical practitioners. These professionals will be able to conduct continual risk assessments and revised diagnoses as necessary of their pain levels and health condition.
Prolonged exposure to opiates might result in dependence and a higher risk of unfavorable side effects. When the treatment is too strong or is not meeting favorable results in the patient, there should be a discussion with the doctor regarding whether to modify or change the treatments.
Talk to your doctor about alternative medications for treating your chronic pain problems. With the latest advancements in medical research and medicines for chronic and severe pain, health professionals are in a constant quest to seek the optimum treatment for their patients: reducing pain while avoiding dependence and lowering the risk of side effects.
Comprehensive Health Clinic in Washington State and New Mexico
Talk to our team at Lynx Healthcare today about your possible treatment options and procedures for chronic pain. In Washington, we have offices in Spokane Valley, Kennewick, and Richland; in New Mexico, we’re conveniently located in Albuquerque.
Call us today at (509) 591-0070 to schedule your appointment. You can also fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. Let us tell you more about our health care services for a lifetime of health and wellness for you and your whole family.