Chronic pain patients often receive a mix of opioids, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. Even when an agreement to decrease drug usage is reached, tapering is difficult because there are no medical guidelines for reducing opioids in conjunction with the other drugs. You will discuss the various tapering protocols of different drug classifications, other variables to consider, including patient metabolism, provider expertise, psychosocial barriers, and clinical co-morbidities. Points include determining which classes of drugs to reduce first, dose reduction by class, withdrawal symptoms, and applying different de-prescribing tactics to the different drugs.
Identify the medications commonly used together for pain management, how they work and how they interact with each other.
Describe the methods for tapering patients from opioids, muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs frequently used to manage pain.
List pain management techniques that don’t involve drugs and ways to address psychosocial issues.