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Weaning Off Prescription Pain Medication

Discussion in 'Pain Management' started by Jamie, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator
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    All of us require some type of pain medication following surgery to replace a hip or knee. Knee recovery can be especially difficult and it is possible that you may need to take prescription pain drugs for several months.

    As you progress through recovery, you will have lessened pain and therefore not need the medication as often or in the strengths as you did initially. DON'T try to rush this. If you do, you'll likely find yourself in severe pain (which can manifest as pain itself, aches, stiffness, anxiety, or even a really bad case of anger/moodiness. Pain has many forms.)

    You'll know you're reaching the time to cut back on prescription pain medications when you just "forget" that it's time for another dose. Although this doesn't happen to everyone, it is something that many experience. Others just get to the point where they want to try fewer prescription drugs.

    Here is a suggested schedule for cutting back on prescription pain medications. Stay at each level for 3-4 days or even longer if you notice the pain symptoms increasing. This schedule assumes you are starting with one pill every 4 hours before beginning the reduction process.

    1 pill every 6 hours and 2 at bedtime
    1 pill every 6 hours and 1½ at bedtime
    ½ pill every 4 hours and 1½ at bedtime
    ½ pill every 6 hours and 1½ at bedtime
    ½ pill every 8 hours and 1½ at bedtime
    ½ pill every 8 hours and 1 at bedtime
    1 pill if you are really doing something active during the day and 1 at bedtime

    It is usually better to wean off these meds over several weeks, not several days. But.....if you are still having pain, then your body is healing and you still need pain relief. And in this case, I would discuss your pain management with your GP instead of your surgeon.

    Added by Josephine
    And titrating (weaning) off Gabapentin is similar.

    When I did this I was taking 200mg three times a day like this

    gabapentin titrate.JPG
     
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  2. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    This video addresses the issue of benzodiazepine withdrawal.


    Dr Heather Ashton, of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne UK, is an acknowledged international expert on the problems surround benzodiazepine usage. Her report on this, which was presented to the UK government in 2007, can be read here BENZODIAZEPINES: HOW THEY WORK AND HOW TO WITHDRAW


    Benzodiazepines is a group of drugs which includes the following

    Benzodiazepines.JPG
     
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