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Medication Safety

On Monday, February 22, Pain News Network [1] announced that “President Barack Obama declined to endorse a sweeping proposal by some governors to put limits on the number of opioid painkillers that doctors can prescribe, saying such a policy would be unfair to rural Americans who don’t have easy access to pain medication or addiction treatment programs.”
 
This can indeed be seen as good news for the 100 million Americans [2] who live with chronic pain, including the 10 million with fibromyalgia.  Chronic, widespread pain is one of the primary symptoms [3] of fibromyalgia, and while opioids are just one tool in the toolkit of treating that pain, it is important that access be preserved for those who do benefit. 

 

As reported earlier [4], the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also proposed guidelines on opioid prescribing. CDC data indicate that in 2013, more than 16,000 people in the US died from prescription painkillers. The sad fact is that many of those people who died were not prescribed those drugs; instead, they got them from “Grandma’s medicine cabinet” or from someone who stole them from a person who did have legitimate reason for the prescription but didn’t keep the pills locked up.  It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to practice good medication safety. 
 
Celeste Cooper’s Medication Safety [5] article offers many practical tips. 
 
Why we need to discuss medication safety:

Know Your Medications

Medications help us improve function, which is the goal in any case, but certain precautions are necessary. Exercising medication safety could save your life.
 

Protect your loved ones by sharing this information. 

 
The fewer medications we take, the better; however, that is not always possible. For this reason, you should know:?

Prescription medications are not the only thing to be considered. Some medications can be affected by over-the-counter supplements, analgesics, natural preparations, herbals, and in some cases, certain foods. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist. Understanding all these things will help minimize risk.
 
Other Things to Do:

Helpful Links