You may be ordered prescription or over-the-counter pain medication upon discharge. If you are taking a narcotic (opioids), don't drive or operate any heavy machinery when taking this medication.
I've been prescribed many different pain medications. Can I take them all at the same time?
You may be prescribed several different pain medications depending on the amount of pain you experience. Do not take more than one pain medication at a time unless you have discussed the combination with your physician. There may be similar ingredients in the medication which could cause an overdose if you take them at the same time.
Should I keep taking the maximum dose of medication until I run out?
Your pain should slowly decrease and you will need less medication over time for most surgical procedures. As your pain decreases, you may want to either decrease the amount you take (if you have the option to take fewer pills at one time) or how often you take it. Take the amount of medication you need to take away the pain or to make your pain tolerable. It is important to be comfortable in order to promote recovery.
What if my pain is not controlled?
If your pain is increasing or no longer controlled by the medication, please consult your surgeon/physician. S/he will evaluate your condition and decide if any changes are needed.
I don't like to take medication. Is there any other way I can relieve my pain?
There are some ways to relieve pain without medication that may work for you. Always check with your surgeon/physician about using any particular type of therapy or drug alternatives as some may be contraindicated for your condition.
Why does my pain medication cause me to be constipated?
Some pain medication, especially narcotics, may cause constipation. At times the surgeon/physician will also instruct you to take additional medication to prevent constipation. If your condition allows, you can increase your fluid intake to help relieve constipation. Other things you can do are: increasing the amount of fibre, fruits and vegetables in your diet; and increasing your activity as tolerated and permitted.