Medication Safety

REMS: Reducing the risks

Julie was in a car accident during her senior year in college.  She was admitted to the hospital for evaluation and treatment, and was discharged with a physical therapy program and a prescription for long term opioid (narcotic) pain medication for her chronic injury-related pain. When she was ready to return to college she needed… Read more »

Buying prescription medications over the Internet

You need to know: Use of the Internet to buy medical products is growing rapidly There could be potential dangers There are resources to help you make good decisions In the old days, the pharmacy was that store down the street with the pharmacist who called you by name.  Now, more and more people use… Read more »

Caution: More web sites selling drugs

In December 2009, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) announced that it had reviewed over 5,200 web sites selling prescription medications. Of these sites reviewed, 96% were out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards. The NABP web site lists over 5,000 “Not Recommended” sites. It is eye opening to read the reports and to… Read more »

What you should know about acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is a medication that is commonly recommended for people with pain, and is available over-the-counter (OTC). It is sometimes combined with other medications, such as opioids, and a prescription is needed. Acetaminophen is generally regarded as safe and effective with relatively few side effects. In fact, depending on your symptoms and medical history, your… Read more »

Important things to know about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are familiar to most of us and are often very effective for people with pain resulting from arthritis. Not only do they help to reduce pain, they can help to decrease swelling and inflammation as well. Depending on your symptoms, medical history, and other factors, an NSAID may be your health… Read more »

Alcohol and chronic pain

People have been using alcohol to help cope with chronic pain for many years. Many people also may use alcohol as a way to manage stress, and chronic pain often can be a significant stressor. Research studies have found that as many as 28% of people with chronic pain use alcohol as a pain management… Read more »

Medication agreements: Why don’t you trust me?

Emily, a 45-year-old senior analyst at a major software company, had been suffering with chronic back pain for months. She tried rest and mild exercise, but nothing was helping. Her longtime health care provider suggested adding a trial prescription opioid (narcotic) pain medication to help her better manage the pain. Emily was shocked when he… Read more »

Understanding your medications: Triptans

What are triptans? Migraine headaches are treated using a variety of medications, sometimes alone, or sometimes in combination with each other. One group of medications, called triptans, is often used to treat debilitating recurring migraine headaches, and work in a unique way. Rather than trying to temporarily relieve headache pain, triptans work to abort (or stop)… Read more »

Overusing your medications: What can happen

When you feel a migraine headache coming on, you naturally reach for your usual medication, even if it’s more often than you should. If your headaches are frequent, occurring 15 or more days a month and requiring more frequent medication than intended, you may become at risk of developing medication overuse or “rebound” headaches. This… Read more »

Over-the-counter pain relief: Part of your plan?

Pain is familiar to most of us for common reasons, like stubbing a toe or overdoing work in the yard. It often requires no other treatment other than protecting the area from further injury, and possibly, the use of pain medicines that are available without a prescription. These “over-the-counter” (OTC) pain relievers, also called “analgesics,”… Read more »