Welcome to our community! Opioid pain relievers are important tools for management of severe pain, but as you note, they can have side effects that can be impairing or unpleasant.
Most other pain relief options are good for mild to moderate pain, but may be less useful in a case of severe pain. Other options you can discuss with your doctor include:
Over the counter pain relievers (aspirin, NSAIDs or acetaminophen), which may also be prescribed by your doctor in higher doses needing a prescription;
Pain patches or ointments, if the pain is localized, either over-the-counter or prescribed;
Certain antidepressants can be prescribed for pain.
If the pain is very specific, e.g., nerve-related or joint-related pain, there may be a specific remedy your doctor can offer. I am thinking of treatments like steroid injections for joint issues.
Heat or ice packs.
Some of our patients have reported finding pain relief with acupuncture or medical marijuana products.
It is really important that you first discuss any pain reliever you are thinking of trying with your doctor to be sure it does not interfere with your treatment or have dangerous interactions with other medications you take. This includes any over the counter treatments from the store.
Also, please note that for our patients, pain control works better when it is started early. Pain can be harder to bring under control if pain management is not started until the pain is severe. If now or in the future you do need opioids to control pain, you can ask your doctor to try different options with you, for the drug itself or the dosing strategy, to find the best outcome for you. This can be a trial and error process since each patient responds differently.
I hope that you and your doctor can find a better pain management strategy for you since the current one is not giving you good results. Please stay in touch with us and send any questions our way.
Does anyone have a suggestion for alternative pain meds to help with pelvic and back pain that are non-opioids? I do not take pain meds nor do I tolerate them well. I was prescribed 5 mg of methadone once a day which did not agree with me at all. Thank You!!
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