Post-Op Pain Relief Options for Allergic Patients

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 3, 2014

pain medicine allergyThis blog is a response to a recent question we received from one of our readers. Here’s the exact question our reader asked:

“I’m allergic to Vicodin, Percocet, Percodan and Morphine, what are my options for pain relief post-op?”

It’s a great question. These types of narcotic pain relievers are used routinely during and after surgery to manage intense amounts of pain. What are the options for a patient who is allergic to these medications? That’s our topic for the day.

Confirm the Allergy

The first thing to do is to make sure that you are allergic to these drugs. Many people mistakenly assume they have an allergic reaction to many of these drugs because they cause the patient to vomit. Nausea and vomiting are normal effects of these narcotics and do not necessarily indicate an allergy. Talk to your doctor or allergist to be certain about your allergy.

Once you have confirmed that you are in fact allergic, you can begin to investigate other treatment options. Be sure to tell your physician that you are allergic to these medications. They will then walk you through alternative options for pain relief.

Most of these narcotic meds have similar chemical structures, which means that a patient who is allergic to one will commonly find that they are allergic to them all. However, that is not always the case.

Communicate with your Surgeon

Pain medicine is a very complex field. Everyone experiences and reports pain differently, so the approach to managing each patient’s pain needs to be tailored specifically to that patient’s needs.

Whenever you have an allergy (whether it’s a medication, food, or pet allergy), be sure to alert your physician. They will take into account all allergic information when making a diagnosis and recommending treatment options.

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