Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

How Much Is Too Much”

Pain centers use numerous medications with a wide variety of side effects. These medications are often added to those which are prescribed by the orthopedist, the neurologist etc.

The side effect profiles of these agents include potential for sleep disruption, sexual dysfunction and can promote changes in mood.

It is said that the medications cannot be halted because of the patient_s pain.

However, in reality, the medications can be stopped for a brief period of time to determine what if any impact this has upon these newly emerging symptoms. Alternatively, if it can be established when the symptoms first arose, often you can link that to which medication was started during that timeframe.

Interestingly, and importantly, regardless of what you are told regarding the necessity of the medication and the patients _need_ for them, patients will often tell me that they hate the side effects, cannot tolerate being sedated all day, loathe the impact upon sleep and sexual functioning but are too intimidated to stop taking the medication.

When the latter arises, someone needs to issue a written opinion that includes the patient_s perceptions, beliefs and wishes. If the pain center will not comply, the patient may well be willing to consider another center if one is needed at all.

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