About medication

You will probably have taken lots of different pain medications. These can be very effective in certain situations. In acute problems such as immediately after an injury or operation they can be used in high doses to take pain away almost completely. You may well have found, however, that in long-term pain this is rarely the case. This is because ongoing pain is more complex.  

The aim of medication in long-term pain is to take the edge off your pain to allow you to do more in your life. You do not need it in the same way as, for example, someone that has diabetes needs insulin. Some people decide that in the long term the problems associated with it outweigh the benefits of taking it. Some of the common concerns that people ask us about are looked at below.

You can record your pain levels on the ‘My Pain’ tracker in the ‘Take Action’ section of the patient online platform, available for patients registered with the Pain Service and accessible through the Pain Service website. For patients who are not registered, there is more information available in the ‘How to manage your pain’ sections of the website.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no evidence that opioid medication is effective for the use of long term persistent non-cancer related pain.