New pain medication rules for pain sufferers

New pain medication rules for pain sufferers
Crosby said as of October 22, if you are a chronic non-cancer pain sufferer your pain medication prescription will be limited. (Source: Leggett, Karrie)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Immediate Care Medical Director Samuel Crosby said the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure’s new regulations on opioids for pain and benzodiazepines for anxiety are not to make patients feel judged, but for protection.

“They [patients] come in mad as a hornet," Crosby said. "They think their doctor’s think they are an addict. We have to jump through these hoops, which we think are correct, for safety reasons.”

Crosby said as of Oct. 22, if you are a chronic non-cancer pain sufferer, your pain medication prescription will be limited.

“So, if a patient comes in with an acute injury, acute surgery, any problem like that they’re recommending that we keep that to a three day prescription," Crosby said. "They are allowing us to go to 10 days worth of medication and you can even do one extra prescription for an extra 10 days if needed, but that really is the limit.”

Crosby said if a patient is on chronic opioid therapy for more than 30 or 90 days, doctors have to do a risk assessment and check your history of taking pain medication through the state’s prescription monitoring website.

“So that we can see if there is doctor shopping going on, see if there are multiple pharmacies being used, see if there is an issue,” Crosby said.

Other changes are urine drug screenings every three months. If doctors feel everything is going well, patients will be allowed up to three months worth of medication for pain.

“If your dose that you are requiring is very high, by that they are defining as the equivalent of 100 milligrams of morphine a day, which is a pretty good dose, if you are on that much or higher you’ll have to actually be getting these prescriptions from a pain specialist,” Crosby said.

Crosby said the board also recommended if you are taking both an opioid and benzodiazopines for anxiety your doctor should make both doses as low as possible. Crosby said the licensure board made these changes to cut back on patient’s need for acute opioid therapy. He said to better understand how this affects you, talk to your doctor.

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