If you’re managing chronic pain with medication, you may be wondering why toxicology screens are needed and why you’re asked to participate in them. More than identifying prescription abuse, medical monitoring helps ensure proper medications at correct doses, and helps prevents harmful drug interactions or other forms of toxicity. Further, new advances in genetic testing offer more personalized care that can speed up pain relief—safely.
Medical monitoring helps your pain doctor evaluate whether you’re taking the correct medications and doses,and ensure that you aren’t experiencing drug interactions or other forms of toxicity. Advances in the drug-testing field are making this process increasingly more personalized.
According to Anne DePriest, PharmD, BCPS, clinical pharmacist and senior scientist for health care services at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, universal precautions were first developed to control infection. Because health care providers couldn’t be sure which organisms they were transmitting to or from different patients, they began using the same safety precautions for every patient. Likewise, pain specialists can’t always be certain which of their opioid-taking patients are most likely to be using the medications inappropriately, so they test all patients.