Pain medications are important tools in controlling pain. Their effects are different from one to another as they belong to different classes. However, they have different side effects as well. Each individual medication my have a side effect and once we take different ones together, their side effects may add up. Added to the pain medications, many of us are on multiple other medications for other conditions like blood pressure, anxiety, depression, asthma, etc. Each of those medications also have effects and side effects. Many of us see different physicians for different conditions and many times these doctors are not aware of each other’s prescriptions. Each of these prescriptions have specific instructions from physicians about the doses and duration of prescription.
The only place that has a pool of information about who we saw, what was prescribed to us, how much and for how long, is the pharmacy. Many times it is the pharmacy that can prevent life threatening drug interactions between different medications. There are some legal regulations about many medications, especially narcotics that would not allow early releases, double doctoring or multiple pharmacies for narcotic medications.
Principally these regulations are not made to give us hard time. They are supposed to protect us and our pharmacists have to follow these regulations. In today’s age of technology many things are done automatically. For example if we show up for the refill of a narcotic medication earlier than the doctor’s instruction or if we have prescription from different doctors for narcotic medications the system would red flag our file.
This is why sometimes we feel our pharmacists are giving us hard time. I am not saying there re not some bad apples out there. Bad apples are everywhere, patients, doctors or pharmacists can be among them. But we need to know the facts before we pass the judgment on anyone.