What is Non-opioid Adjunct Medical Management?
Non-opioid adjunct medication management involves management for any medications you are taking that are not opioids. Non-opioid medications that can be prescribed for pain management include:
- NSAIDs – These can include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and a number of prescription pain medications. NSAIDs provide both pain relief and anti-inflammatory action.
- Acetaminophen – This medication works differently than an NSAID. It interrupts pain signals in the brain to provide pain relief. Because this medication can cause liver damage if taken in large amounts, it is important to ensure that you are not taking too many medications that contain acetaminophen at once.
- Anticonvulsants – Also referred to as anti-seizure medications, these can treat pain by reducing nerve sensitivity.
- Tricyclic antidepressants – These medications can help reduce pain by altering your brain’s pain tolerance.
- Muscle relaxants – When muscle tension or spasms are contributing to pain, muscle relaxants can help.
- Steroids – These medications can reduce inflammation and speed healing. Because of potential side effects associated with long-term use, they must be used sparingly to address pain.
Medications are typically used alongside other therapies to help you heal and experience full pain relief. A combination of, for instance, an analgesic and physical therapy can help you manage pain while regaining mobility and reducing stiffness.
How is Non-opioid Adjunct Medical Management Performed?
Our medication management team will look at all of the medications that you are taking to ensure that you are not at risk for harmful interactions or side effects. This starts with a full review of the medications you take. It is important to include prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbal treatments, and supplements.
Many people have issues understanding complex pharmacy labels. This misunderstanding can lead to dosing that is either unsafe or ineffective. Our medication management team will ensure that you understand the dosing instructions for your medications and are taking them in a way that is both safe and effective. We’ll answer any questions you have about your medication and assure that you have the information you need to take your medication correctly. Some side effects to medication can develop over time. We will discuss any side effects that you are experiencing and help develop alternate treatments if they become unmanageable.
Together, you and your medication management team will create a treatment plan and a set of treatment goals. For someone dealing with chronic pain, for instance, treatment goals can include the ability to work a full day without severe pain or sleeping through the night. Your medication plan will be revisited regularly to ensure that you are always getting the appropriate treatment to control your symptoms safely.
Medication is almost always used in conjunction with other therapies. For instance, someone who is taking muscle relaxants to cope with chronic back pain may also see the physical therapist to work on exercises that reduce pain.