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Common Myths About Pain Medications

Chronic pain is long-lasting pain due to a condition that can't be cured or easily treated. Being in pain can be exhausting. It can affect your ability to eat, sleep, or just do day-to-day tasks. Pain medications can help relieve some of your pain and make daily life easier. They are likely to be part of your treatment for chronic pain. Below are some common myths about pain medications.

Man sitting at desk talking to healthcare provider. Talk to doctor if you have any concerns about taking pain medications.

Myth: Medications will cure my pain.

Fact: Medications can help control chronic pain, but they rarely cure it.

Myth: If my usual dose helps a little, a larger dose will help a lot.

Fact: Taking a larger dose of medication may be dangerous. If you feel that you need to increase your dose, consult your healthcare provider.

Myth: I shouldn't take medication unless I'm in severe pain.

Fact: Preventing pain from developing is much easier than treating pain once it has begun. For best results, take pain medication on schedule.

Myth: Taking pain pills means I'm weak.

Fact: Feeling pain is not a moral failing. It is a medical problem. Taking medication can help you get more out of your other treatments.

Myth: I'll get addicted.

Fact: Psychological dependence on pain medication is very rare. Long-term use of some medications may lead to increased tolerance (needing to take more for the same effect). Or it may cause physical dependence. This means you'll need to “taper off” if you and your doctor decide to stop the medication. But this is a normal response to medication and doesn't make you an addict.

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