Pain management in the pharmacy: new Nice guideline for chronic pain
Yousaf Ahmad – chief pharmacist at the Practice Plus Group and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association pain group educational lead – discusses the new National Institute for health and Care Excellence (Nice) guideline for the management of chronic pain, and how pharmacy teams can identify patients presenting in the pharmacy with acute pain.
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The new Nice guideline has provided “a clearer definition of chronic pain”, Mr Ahmad tells C+D’s clinical and custom content editor Naimah Callachand. By focusing on patient-centred assessments, the guideline also addresses the psycho-social impact of pain and has “provided more intel for healthcare professionals and those at the pharmacy counter to look at more holistic assessment of the individual [in the management of pain]”, he says.
Mr Ahmad also discusses what the new guideline mean for the management of acute pain in the pharmacy. “Acute pain not managed well can result in chronic pain”, and “choosing the right therapy is vitally important”, he emphasises. The guideline focuses on “using the right early treatment” for the aggressive management of acute pain, he adds.
Mr Ahmed says pharmacy teams have a central role to play in pain management by asking the right questions during the consultation to identify the type of pain the patient is suffering from and referring patients for further advice if they present with any red flag symptoms. “Pain is subjective”, he says, therefore it is important that pharmacy teams “tailor each consultation and treatment recommendations to the individual patient”.
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