Managing your pain medications after surgery can be confusing. Plans work best when medications are combined safely to provide even pain coverage. Like a good recipe, the ingredients must be used together in balance, rather than depending on one ingredient for the entire effect. This approach is called multi-modal pain management. Below, I have included a template to help you make a safe and easy plan that works. Narcotics are the traditional tool for surgical care pain, but for many reasons they are the worst option for managing pain. Narcotics have the following issues and side effects:
These are generally the least reliable pain medication, and should be used as a final ingredient, and as little as possible, if pain can be controlled with more reliable medications. Narcotics are best taken with food (not on an empty stomach) and only as needed.View PDF
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