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Pharmacists and Pain Management

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by NeuroPsycho, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. NeuroPsycho

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    I'm wondering if pharamcists are knowledgeable about pain therapies including injections and neurolytic therapies for pain (i.e. epidural steroid injections, intra-articular injections and facet blocks, peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic blocks, etc.).

    Basically, do pharamcists have as much knowledge as an anesthesiologist about drug and injection therapies for pain (dosage, how much to inject, side-effects, toxicology, etc.).

    I would like to know if pharmacists have the ability to accurately prescribe medication after being accurately diagnosed by a physician. For example, if someone in your family had cancer or chronic pain, would a pharmacist with a Pharm.D degree know how to treat the cancer of pain with drugs/intravenous medication better than the physicians themselves?

    Can pharmacists with a Pharm.D degree be involved in research and development of new drugs for pain, cancer, and mental illnesses?
     
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  3. Hels2007

    Hels2007 I bite
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Yes on all counts. There are pharmacists who are pain management specialists and all they do is pain management. Their practice settings range from community clinics to hospice care to OR to inpatient pain service, etc. Whether and what they are actually able to prescribe depends on the setting, and the state, and the institution policy and the individual practice agreements. I wouldn't necessarily say that a pharmacist would be the best option for a very complex patient (since we are not trained and not able to diagnoze, it can be difficult to determine why the patient's pain is getting worse, for example), but for a lot of cases pharmacists can be appropriate care providers. I would say that the best use of pharmacists' knowledge is when there is true collaboration between a physician and a pharmacist.

    BTW, ASHP Midyear had a really nice pain workshop this year, I went.
     
  4. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member
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    Yes we would have almost equally amount the knowledge of anesthesiologist but they would know how to "apply" it better if they are a MD specialist in it. Our knowledge is more compares to theirs in terms of reacting with other drugs, pharmcokinetics, and pharmcodynamics.

    This only applies to a pharmacist in pain management setting versus a pharamcist in another setting, and to a MD who is in a pain management setting versus another setting.

    For example, I am up to date on my literature in my field, but only know what I remember about pain management from what I learn in classes so would be nowhere as good as they are in it. Usually in a setting, a pharmacist would be responsible for a certain topic.
     

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