Chronic Pain

· Guidance on managing pain has changed. Opioids are now only thought to be beneficial short term <6 months

· Side effects include; memory loss, nausea, drowsiness, reduced sex drive, weight gain, addiction, tolerance, increased pain, constipation, urinary retention, decreased immune function

· The higher the dose for the more time leads to more risk


Watch this excellent video -


Ask Yourself?

• Do you still have pain despite using your opioid medication regularly?

• Does your medication cause side-effects that affect your daily activities e.g. drowsiness that stops you driving

• Have you noticed a change in your sex drive or sexual function?

• Do you take your medication because it helps you to relax?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions, it is likely that the opioid medication is not doing what it is supposed to and may be causing you harm.


What to do?

· Keep a diary (see links for options)

· Book an appointment to see your GP

Please be aware the practice will be inviting those on high dose opioids for review. Patients who do not engage in the review process may find their prescription gradually reduced.


Resources for patient

Understanding Pain in less than Five Minutes

Understanding and self managing your pain

Pain Toolkit

Pain Association


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