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Understanding the Pain Medication From Your Sports Med Doc

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Whether you have arthritis, a fracture, or have undergone a major joint replacement surgery, your Houston orthopedic physician may have prescribed you a pain medication to help you through the recovery process. This blog post offers brief descriptions of some of the most common pain medications (as indicated in this user-populated list). The following list of medications is not appropriate for all recovery instances. Ask your provider for details.

Pain-Relievers Your Houston Orthopedic Doctor May Prescribe

  • Hydrocodone-acetaminophen. This combination drug is used to provide relief for moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone, a narcotic, provides pain relief, while acetaminophen reduces fever. (Acetaminophen is the active drug in Tylenol.) Norco is a well-known hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination pill.
  • Tramadol. Tramadol is very similar to hydrocodone in how it affects the brain’s response to pain.
  • Oxycodone. This powerful opiate is frequently prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief following surgery. Typically, a lower-strength analgesic would be prescribed before oxycodone. Oxycodone is generally given to patients who have a high tolerance to the effects of medication. Sometimes this drug is combined with acetaminophen.
  • Percocet. Percocet is a combination pill that includes both oxycodone (for pain relief) and acetaminophen (for fever-reduction and additional pain relief).
  • OxyContin. OxyContin, like oxycodone, is another narcotic-classified pain-reliever. Higher strengths of this drug is reserved for patients who have become accustomed to taking high dosages of strong pain medication. It may be used to treat ongoing pain.

Please note, it’s important to follow your physician’s instructions in using any drugs prescribed for post-surgical care. If you have known sensitivities to a drug, then let your health care provider know, and he or she can likely prescribe you an alternate to avoid any unwanted side effects during your recovery.

Additionally, please note that Texas law changed in October 2014, so that many of these types of prescriptions can only be given when a patient makes a face-to-face visit with a doctor. Refills, call-ins and electronic forms of prescribing are no longer valid methods of prescribing these narcotics. This is a DEA change – not a change in your doctor’s office policy.

Have Questions for Your Houston Orthopedic Physician?

If you have questions about any medication prescribed to you by your provider at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, please call us at (713) 756-5546.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.