It is common for our clinic to call your pharmacy, your employer, and your family should there be anything out of the ordinary in our evaluation. Criminal database background checks are performed, urine drug screening is mandatory and screening for abuse potential is essential in preventing addiction, reducing abuse, and eliminating diversion. Georgia has an active Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and patients are monitored for compliance frequently.
Once screening is completed, and if you are felt to be a candidate for ongoing treatment for opiates for chronic pain, we need to monitor for pain relief (analgesia), adverse effects of medication (side effects), activity levels (ongoing functional improvement in activities of daily living such as holding down a job, maintaining a household, and keeping family and interpersonal relationships), and aberrant behaviors (running out of medication early, obtaining pain medications from more than one doctor). Common side effects include nausea, sedation, and constipation. Nausea typically improves within 1-2 weeks. Sedation is typically minimal with appropriate dosing and disappears within 1 week if medication is taken as directed. Constipation never improves without dietary adjustment and an informational handout is always available.
1. No opiate prescriptions will be issued to new patients. Our staff will make every effort to obtain records from prior physicians, other health providers, and imaging centers as soon as possible. Urine drug screening may be performed at the initial visit and can take 1 week to return for review. If Dr. Lobel determines that opiate pain medication may be helpful, he will prescribe it only after all information is reviewed and the risks and benefits of these medications are weighed.
2. No pain medication will be called to the pharmacy
3. No pain medication refills will be issued for lost or stolen medications
4. No pain medication will be refilled early unless dose changes were authorized by Dr. Lobel
5. Dr. Lobel may contact your other providers, family, pharmacy and employer to ensure safety and appropriateness of medication use.
6. Phone calls requesting pain medication during the initial assessment and while Dr. Lobel is gathering clinical information are inappropriate. If Dr. Lobel feels that your pain warrants immediate treatment with opiate medication, he will do so at the time of the appointment. Any issues arising during the assessment period should be handled by your PCP or the Emergency Department.