When it comes to pain management, you have a lot of choices. There are over-the-counter pills, creams, ointments, gels, patches, and more. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Different types of pains need different kinds of medications. But even in those, there are a lot of choices. Sometimes, your doctor has to prescribe various types of pain medications until you find the right one. Also, you can contact a compounding pharmacy and have a combination of compounded creams made specifically for your unique needs.
Medications for Chronic Pain
Here are the different medications that your doctors prescribe you for chronic pain. Your compounding pharmacist can use them in various dosages and formulations to meet your needs.
NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) are among the most prescribed drugs for arthritis and other types of pains. They are non-opioid analgesics. Doctors around the world prescribe them to treat mild to moderate chronic pain. NSAIDs can be prescribed individually or in a wide range of combinations to treat pain. Your compounding pharmacist can easily combine them with opioids or adjuvant analgesics based on your prescription and formulate topical pain compounds. They are also effective in treating breakthrough pain. Breakthrough pain is also called flare up or episodic pain. It is swift and severe.
NSAIDs are readily available over the counter, but they may not be in the dosage you require. For chronic pain treatment, prescription NSAIDs are used like ibuprofen, naproxen, and more.
NSAIDs do have some side effects like:
- Stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal ulcers, and more.
Antidepressants fall under the category of adjuvant analgesics. This means that although they were not explicitly made for pain management, they effectively treat certain types of pain. There are two ways that they can control chronic pain. First, they decrease anxiety and help regulate sleep. Secondly, they may change how you perceive pain by altering the way pain is transmitted to your central nervous system. Just remember that not all types of antidepressants can be used for chronic pain management. For example, certain Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) and some selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs) can treat both chronic pain and nerve pain. On the other hand, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are also antidepressants, are not as effective.
You might be wondering what effects do anticonvulsants have on pain management. They are usually used to treat seizures. But they also have an impact on pain management. These also fall under the category of adjuvant analgesics. They work by decreasing certain nerve transmissions, thus reducing the pain sensations. These pain sensations could be caused by diabetic neuropathy or trigeminal neuralgia. The anticonvulsants that are typically used for chronic pain management include gabapentin and pregabalin. You can contact your compounding pharmacist, and they can use your prescription to make a topical pain cream that is just right for you and contains the necessary ingredients.
4. Topical Analgesics
Topical analgesics are available in various formulations. They could be used in the form of creams, lotions, ointments, or patches. They are available as prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter drugs. Depending on the active ingredient, different topical analgesics work in different ways. Some may contain pain medication, while others can contain skin irritants that interfere with pain perception.
5. Opioids (Narcotics)
If you are experiencing moderate to severe pain, your professional healthcare provider might prescribe opioids for pain medication. Although their long-term use is controversial, they do provide relief when used carefully and monitored. They are available in the forms of pills, patches, as well as intravenous. They can be used alone, or they can be in combination with other pain medications.
You can have all these types of medications compounded based on your prescriptions by your doctor. Make sure that you talk to your compounding pharmacists, so you know exactly how to use them, when to use them, and when not to. Thanks to compounding pharmacies, topical pain creams may have less side effects or interactions as oral medications. However, you still have to keep an eye on them.