Treating Patients Suffering from Pain
By Donna S. Barsky, D.Ph., R.Ph., TexasStar Pharmacy, Collin LIVING WELL Magazine
Pain is the number one reason any of us go to see the doctor. Shockingly, recent reports have found that drug related deaths fueled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses now outnumber traffic fatalities in the U.S.
Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many times our patients and their doctors come to us because they are not only suffering from pain, but are also experiencing many unpleasant side effects from their current medication therapies like increased stomach distress or an increased problem with effects on the liver.
As a compounding pharmacist, I strive to work as a team with the patient and their doctor to maximize their medication outcomes. We have many non narcotic options that can often help patients take control of their pain without the problems of side effects.
Many times pain that is related to a specific body part can be treated where the pain is located without use of oral medications. Studies have shown that when medications are delivered through the skin to specific areas, more medication can be found in the desired area compared to oral medications, which have to pass through the liver first. Many of the side effects observed with oral medications are not reported with topical administration.
Many professional and competitive athletes have utilized topical medications for conditions such as muscular pain and spasms, arthritic pain, inflammation, and nerve related pain. This continues to help their pain without fogging the brain for competition.
For some people, we have found that they are able to greatly reduce their oral narcotic dosages, or completely stop taking oral narcotics with the use of topical pain medications that greatly reduce their pain and inflammation.
While sometimes stopping oral narcotic pain medications is not always an option for many patients, their medications can be customized to a dose of the medication that their doctor feels is optimum for them. Through custom compounding, their medications can be made into a slow release oral capsule for longer lasting effectiveness. We are also able to combine medications into a single dosage for the needs of the individual patient to treat various causes of pain.
There have been many times when we were called upon to customize medications for systemic delivery as well. These medications differ from topical medications as they are given in areas to deliver systemic amount of medications into the blood stream in cases where a patient may not be able to swallow. These might include Promethazine for nausea/vomiting when a patient cannot hold oral medications down or when a patient has had a tonsillectomy and cannot swallow well. There is also a lollipop that is developed for numbing the mouth or throat for pain from mouth ulcers and sore throat.
Where there is a need, we can formulate a plan for treatment on you and your physician’s team.
If you are in need of a specialized medication, feel free to contact our facility: TexasStar Pharmacy, 3033 W. Parker Rd., #100, Plano, Texas 75023, 972-519-8475, or our newest location: TexasStar Pharmacy II, 5425 W. Spring Creek Pkwy, #190, Plano, Texas, 75024, 214-291-5087 for any questions.