Pain Medicine Optimization
With rising numbers of patients who require medical care for chronic pain, it’s important that we offer our patients successful pain management.
This means that we provide our patients with adequate therapeutic relief using analgesia while reducing adverse effects. At our Toronto pain management clinic, we can achieve this level of medical care with optimization of pain medication for each patient we serve.
The optimization of pain medication involves the effective use of medications to improve patient experience and clinical outcomes, at a lower cost. As medicines are the most frequently used therapeutic intervention in healthcare, Dr. Dov Weiss and his medical staff believe that they must work hard to use these resources wisely and effectively, all the while ensuring that each individual patient gains the most value from their treatment.
There are four simple but important principles that aid in our mission to optimization pain medicine for all our patients:
1) Understand the patient’s experience – open communication between the patient and our physician is important for us to effectively monitor the therapy. Medication treatment is not a “one-shot” process but ongoing care. It’s possible that the patient’s experience may change over time, even as the medication does not.
2) Use of evidence-based medicines – we will only recommend the use of pain therapies that have been clinically proven and cost-effective to best meet the needs of our patients.
3) Ensure medications are used as safely as possible – it’s our responsibility to ensure that our patients are using the pain medications we prescribe in a safe manner. This includes all aspects of safety such as adverse effects, adverse interactions with other substances, safe delivery, storage and effective communication.
4) Routinely practice the optimization of pain medication – our medical staff strives to discuss our treatment and therapies with fellow healthcare professionals to ensure we stay abreast of innovative advancements and methods that evolve each day.
The importance of optimizing pain medication
For patients with chronic pain conditions, the optimization of pain medication is an important consideration.
Sometimes, it may involve stopping certain medications and starting others, depending on the efficacy, lifestyle changes and any non-medical therapies that alter the need for treatment. In general, the optimization of pain medication in Toronto is to find the most effective therapy for our patients, so that they can regain control over their condition and improve their quality of life.
Through literature and clinical experience, analgesics have been demonstrated to work effectively against pain. However, this is only achieved in a small percentage of patients. In fact, it is unusual for any analgesic including strong medications like opioids, to completely eliminate pain. There is also a concern for the increasing use of analgesics for managing chronic pain because of the potential risks and harm associated with such medications. Therefore, our medical team always has other therapeutic means for trying to achieve pain relief when front-line medications fail. This is where optimization of pain medication becomes very important and is personalized for each individual.
Optimizing pain medications with half-life and pharmacogenetics
In Toronto, optimization of pain medication is further proved significant as drug metabolism and response to therapy are affected by several physiological factors, causing some analgesics to fail.
As part of understanding drug metabolism and its therapeutic effect in patients, we must consider and assess the half-life of medication we prescribe. The half-life is defined as the amount of time it takes for a chemical compound to metabolize to half of its concentration in the body. It’s a useful marker for studying the cumulative effect of pharmacogenetics and drug-drug interactions, as well as in preventing adverse effects while ensuring efficacy of treatment. By thoroughly knowing our medication’s behaviour in the body, we provide adequate amounts of analgesic at an appropriate dosing schedule to maintain a consistent level of pain relief while requiring less of the drug to maintain those consistent levels over time.
A large component to optimizing pain medication in Toronto is pharmacogenetics, which refers to how genetic differences between patients can influence drug response and drug disposition. Due to the variance amongst individual patients, conventional drug dosing can cause toxicity in some patients while others are not receiving adequate therapeutic relief for their condition. Many people who deal with chronic pain know that pain medication is not one-size-fits-all. Differences in our responses to drugs are due to the pharmacogenetics that determine the target receptors and downstream signaling pathways involved in drug metabolism and elimination, thus affecting the dosage and effective serum concentrations within our bodies. We prescribe pain medication in a strategic manner that maintains a steady state plasma concentration of the medication to achieve the therapeutic effects and we pay attention to feedback from our clients.
Treatment optimization strategies at our clinic
In Toronto pain management and medication optimization, we follow an analgesic ladder and guideline provided by the World Health Organization as a starting point for many clients. This step-wise ladder offers recommendations for effective pain relief. The initial treatment for chronic pain is typically a non-opioid compound such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen. If these medications at optimal doses are ineffective and pain persists, the next step for pain management is to prescribe a weak opioid, such as codeine or tramadol, followed by a stronger opioid like morphine to eliminate the pain. The use of a weaker opioid is part of the optimization of medicine to prevent high doses of a strong opioid and its adverse effects. At each stage of this ladder, adjuvant medications such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants are recommended to aid in alleviating anxiety and countering pain. In addition to these recommendations, we offer our patients additional therapy options such as central and peripheral nerve blocks, PRP injections, ketamine infusions and many more as adjuvants to help achieve effective pain relief.
Committed to empowering our patients with chronic pain to regain control of their condition, our team develops therapeutic strategies that are tailored towards the specific needs of each individual patient. Through optimization of pain medicine, we offer treatment plans that decrease pain, keep medication use to a minimum and eliminate adverse side effects.
Our team at Painless Medicine and Therapeutics focuses on improving our patient’s pain conditions.
Our goal and philosophy is to make the patient’s therapeutic experience as painless as possible by finding a therapeutic plan that best treats their symptoms and lifestyle. We truly believe in collaboration and working closely with patients so that they have control over their medication, and so that the treatment aligns with our clinic’s values.
In cases where chronic pain cannot be cured, but instead must be effectively managed, our team’s purpose is to limit the complications and to minimize the severity of the symptoms experienced by the patient. We wish to optimize our patients’ control over their pain so they feel enabled to be the best possible version of themselves and enjoy life again.
If you are suffering from a chronic pain condition, we highly suggest that you visit our clinic in Toronto to see what we can do for you.