APF releases opioid medication safety module

May 10, 2011

The American Pain Foundation recently released a new medication safety module on acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as part of its PainSAFE initiative.

The American Pain Foundation (APF) recently released a new medication safety module on acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as part of its PainSAFE initiative.

Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can find new information on APF’s website, www.painfoundation.org, explaining the ways they can talk to patients about NSAIDs. “The information is written specifically for healthcare professionals and gives them new guidelines and information they will need to know when a consumer asks them about these products … and to communicate with consumers the importance of not taking OTC acetaminophen when they pick up a prescription that has acetaminophen in it,” said Tina Regester, spokesman for APF.

Pharmacists can also print “10 tips for taking your pain medications safely” and “Be label smart,” APF’s information sheets about pain medications, to share with their patients. “People who live with pain are particularly vulnerable to NSAIDs and acetaminophen overdose, because they may take a number of medications to help keep their pain under control … It’s not hard to overdose on NSAIDs or acetaminophen, which may occur when people aren’t really aware of what’s included in their prescription and OTC medications,” said Lynn Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM, advisor for PainSAFE.

APF has also released a new national PSA, emphasizing the safe use of all pain management therapies. The PSA launch, timed to coincide with national medication take-back programs, recommends that consumers pay attention to what and how much medication they are taking and properly dispose of expired or unused medication. “We anticipate the PSA will run for at least the next 2 months,” Regester said.