This month, we reintroduce our Condition Center on www .PharmacyTimes.com covering pain management. Sources of pain include surgery, burns, broken bones, migraines, pinched nerves, and cancer. Medications available to treat pain range from OTC agents such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin to prescription NSAIDs to opioids. Treatment of pain needs to ensure adequate relief while guarding against the very real danger of opioid abuse and addiction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increased use of opioid analgesics in recent years has driven the number of unintentional drug overdose deaths in the United States to 27,000 per year as of 2007. At the same time, many patients are undertreated for pain, which can slow the healing process as well as erode quality of life. When counseling pain patients, pharmacists should be on the lookout for signs of abuse and addiction as well as instances in which patients could benefit from a different or more powerful painkiller.
Check out the new CE activity available this month on www .PharmacyTimes.com. “Deep Breath: Optimizing Selection and Use of Medication Devices in COPD” reviews treatment guidelines for COPD patients with an emphasis on those who are difficult to treat, as well as proper selection and use of medication devices for the condition. Pharmacists can register for access to this CE activity and many others at www.PharmacyTimes.com.