Whilst painkillers are often effective for acute or short-term pain problems, many patients find them less helpful when used for chronic pain. In addition, side effects are a common feature of painkillers.
The potential risks of medicines therefore need to be balanced against their benefits. For example with strong pain killers only around 20-30% will receive significant pain relief over time whereas 80% will experience adverse effects, some of which will be serious
When medicines are prescribed, they are far more helpful when used in combination with other treatment approaches to support improved physical, psychological and social functioning.
The Community Pain Management Service will be able to advise on how to maximise the benefit and reduce any harms from your medicines. They will support any adjustments to your current medications through a Shared Decision Making process, which may include increasing, reducing or changing your current medication.
Following discussion some patients may wish to stop taking their regular medication and we can work with you to support a planned, safe and effective process to achieve this where possible.
Any changes to your medication will be communicated to your GP as part of your action plan and will form part of a holistic approach to your care.