April 20, 2017
Whether from a new injury or an aggravated old injury, stiffness and soreness in the neck and back at night may lead to disrupted sleep and more pain in the morning. Muscle relaxants have been shown to help relieve this pain and get you through these tough days—used at night, these medications may improve acute neck and back pain.
Your first line treatment will still be acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen, Aleve, etc) which do work better for neck and back pain than muscle relaxants. See More
July 13, 2016
Tramadol (Ultram) is prescribed for pain more than ever, with new recommendations to limit the use of opioid analgesics. Tramadol is a non-opioid that works on the opiate receptors. Unlike other opioids (like hydrocodone and codeine), tramadol doesn’t affect your breathing or heart. It’s a good option for trying to avoid opioids if NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen) aren’t recommended for you. See More
June 15, 2016
The FDA has issued a new required warning for all opioid pain medications. If you are taking an opioid, you should be aware of a few potential side effects, including reactions with other medications, and effects on hormone levels.
What are some examples of opioid medications?
Opioids are powerful prescription-only medications, used to manage manage pain when other treatments may not work. Some common opiods include:
Why exactly was the FDA safety alert issued?
The FDA identified some safety concerns for anyone using opioid pain medications:
- They can interact with many other medications
- They can cause problems with a person’s adrenal glands
- They can decrease sex hormone levels
What kind of medications can react with opioids?
Specifically, opioids may react with antidepressants and migraine medications. See More
March 04, 2016
Oxycontin (oxycodone ER) is an extremely strong prescription pain medication, previously approved for adult use only. Now, the FDA has also approved it for use in children 11 to 16 years of age.
The approval has caused some outrage, and has many people questioning why the FDA would allow such a powerful and addictive medication to be prescribed for young children.
On the other hand—children usually don’t experience the chronic type of pain that adults do, so the use of Oxycontin will be limited to a few specific, medically necessary situations. See More
February 04, 2016
Opioid pain medication is an emotional topic for everyone. Patients who struggle with chronic noncancer pain and need opioid medications feel they are portrayed as addicts when they ask for refills. Each week I see many patients using opioids for the appropriate reason, who have tried and failed with other medications and yet feel stigmatized by the use of medicine they need.
The flipside, however, is that more and more of us are dying from prescription pain medication overdoses, in addition to heroin overdoses when addicts move from Oxycontin to heroin. See More
January 28, 2016
The new Goodrx Top 10 Lists are in, and this time we take a look back at the end of 2015. These are the most popular and most expensive drugs in the US, and they cover all kinds of conditions from common heart and pain meds to pricey treatments for cancer and genetic disorders.
To start with—which drugs were filled the most in the last quarter of 2015?
November 19, 2015
Pain can be very subjective, ranging from mild to severe, and it can be felt differently from person to person. When it comes to severe or chronic pain though, it can be debilitating and negatively impact your quality of life. Everyday tasks like walking to the mailbox or cooking dinner can be difficult for a person with severe pain.
Belbuca (buprenorphine), an option for this kind of chronic pain, was approved by the FDA on October 26, 2015. See More
July 21, 2015
Yes, you can take them together, and they even work better in combination than separately. Several large studies have shown that ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) together work well to relieve pain, with few side effects. In fact, for many things like dental pain, they work better than many of the opioid-containing pain meds (like Vicodin or Norco).
Why is the combination safe?
Acetaminophen is cleared by the liver, while ibuprofen is cleared by the kidneys. See More
July 13, 2015
You probably already know that many prescriptions have side effects. Most are mild—annoying issues like nausea or sleepiness that are inconvenient at worst. Others, however, can be deadly.
A very small number of medications are responsible for the majority of adverse side effects and hospitalizations from harmful drug reactions. How bad are these drugs? Between 2007 to 2009, almost 100,000 patients older than 65 had emergency hospitalizations for dangerous drug reactions, and almost 20,000 people die from prescription drug overdoses annually. See More
April 30, 2015
Joint pain from arthritis, an injury, or overuse often requires the use of anti-inflammatory medications. Many people hate taking pills by mouth because they can be hard on the stomach and kidneys. But do the topical options work? What are your options and which is the best?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) topical options:
In the United States, three topical NSAID products are approved to treat pain including Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium 1%), Pennsaid topical solution (diclofenac sodium 1. See More