Is it really that important to take my pain medication exactly as it’s prescribed?
Yes. When selecting a pain reliever, your GP or pharmacist will always consider whether it’s the safest and best choice for you, and whether it’ll work well for the type of pain you’re experiencing.
However, ensuring you benefit as much as possible from that careful consideration relies on taking your pain medication according to the directions, regardless of whether it’s medication that’s available for purchase over the counter or on a prescription-only basis. This will ensure you get the most out of your pain relievers.
Your TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist will always provide you with specific advice and instructions, but if you don’t understand it or are confused about anything, ask them to run through it again.
One thing to be particularly mindful of is taking your pain medication at the appropriate time, and the TerryWhite Chemmart Health App can help. As well as sending reminders when your scripts are running low and allowing you to order your prescriptions via the app to skip the queues in-store, you can also set yourself alerts to remind you to take your pain medication when its due.
My pain medication doesn’t seem to be working properly. What am I doing wrong?
While different pain relievers are effective at helping to treat mild, moderate or severe pain, a common misconception is that they’re able to take away 100 per cent of your pain.
It’s important to treat any chronic pain with other methods at the same time as taking medication.
The best way to check how well a pain reliever is working is to score your pain on a scale of 0-10 before taking your medication, and then assessing it again a couple of hours later. This will give you an indication of how well your pain reliever is, or isn’t, working.
If your pain medication isn’t working effectively, speak to your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist for their advice. You can also ask them if you’re eligible for a free Pain MedsCheck, during which your medications will be reviewed to identify any medication-related problems and improve how effectively they’re relieving your pain.
Apart from pain medication, what else can I do to help manage or alleviate chronic pain?
Many factors can contribute to the ‘pain experience’, such as stress, your environment or an injury. A multimodal approach to pain means addressing these factors, and this involves seeing a range of professionals who specialise in different aspects of pain care.
For example, a psychologist can help support the way we think about pain, a pharmacist will assist with pain relief medications, and a physiotherapist can help plan an exercise program. Together, these methods can improve pain more efficiently and effectively than any one of them used on its own. As a first step, check out TerryWhite Chemmart’s Pain Information Hub (terrywhitechemmart.com.au/pain). You’ll find information and resources from our pharmacists and allied health professionals, to help you under-stand your pain and the treatment options available.