Frequently Asked Questions

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ACPA General Pain Management

What is chronic pain?
What is a multidisciplinary pain management program (MPP)?
I don't understand why my doctor is asking me to take a new medicine. How can I find out more about what it is for and ways it might effect me?
How do I find out more information about my pain problems?
How can I find a doctor who specializes in pain management?
How can I make my family understand how much pain I'm in?
Is my pain all in my head?

Addiction, Dependence and Tolerance

I’ve been told that there is a difference between physical dependence and addiction to pain medications, but I don’t understand. Can you explain the difference to me?

Antidepressants

Why did my doctor give me an antidepressant for my pain? I’m in pain, not depressed! Can’t he see that the only problem is my pain? I need help now!

Biofeedback

What is biofeedback and how can it help me with pain management?

FDA Regulation (REMS)

What do you think is going to happen to people like myself that depend on opiates just to get through a day because of what might happen with REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies)? I’m worried what restrictions the FDA will place on these medications making them more difficult for people with pain to obtain.

Medication Dosage and Use

I’ve been prescribed narcotics because of chronic pain, and the bottle says I should avoid operating heavy machinery and driving when I take them. Can you tell me why? Is there anything else I should avoid, like herbal supplements?
Three days ago, my daughter was prescribed an antibiotic for an ear infection. She is very small for her age, and I’m hesitant to give her the whole dose because I don’t think the healthcare provider considered her weight when determining the dose. I’ve been breaking the pill in half and she seems better. Did I do the right thing?
I have a difficult time swallowing large pills, and in the past, I’ve crushed the pills up and mixed them into food to make them easier to take. Are there any medications that I shouldn’t do this with?

Medication Safety

I have some over-the-counter medications with an expiration date that has passed. Is it safe to still use these medications?

Methadone

I have been told by pain management specialists that I have a naturally opioid blockers that prevent any and all pain medication from relieving the severe pain that I suffer from. My doctors have said that the only option left for me is methadone and I don't want to do that. Isn't that a medication that they give to heroin users or drug abusers in general?

Tegretol

I have been prescribed Tegretol to treat trigeminal neuralgia. The package insert says this is an anticonvulsant medication. Does this mean I have a seizure disorder or I’m at risk of convulsing?
When I was given the original prescription for Tegretol, I was told the dose would likely be increased over time. Why?
Why aren’t traditional pain medications like Tylenol, Percocet, or Vicodin used for controlling the pain of trigeminal neuralgia?

Working With Your Doctor

What can I expect from a visit with a Pain Management Doctor?
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Development of this new ACPA web site was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Medtronic Foundation and Purdue Pharma.

Medtronic Foundation and Purdue have no influence on the editorial content of the site. Ongoing funding also comes from memberships/donations from a range of individual contributors.

Last Updated: 8/28/2014
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