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How can you tell if your pain medicine is time released or not?

Responses (2)

Windchimes123 2 May 2018

Hi Jamie,
Typically, time released is written as an every 8 to 12 hours and sometimes daily. Look on the prescription bottle next to the name of the drug. You with see capitalized letters like SR (sustained released) or ER (Extended Release or LA (Long acting).
The short acting will most likely read every 4-6 hours or less. Next to the name of the med is IR (Immediate release) or SA (Short acting).
Good pain management would include a “rescue dose” meaning a short acting in case your pain is not controlled with only the long acting.
However, I don’t know what they are doing anymore. It was the gold standard for many years in case you developed increased drug despite the long acting.
If you do have both, be careful to only take the short acting for when you really need it to avoid tolerance.
I hope that helps.
Best wishes

Windchimes123 2 May 2018

PS... if you are taking opioids, Acetaminophen helps accentuate the effectiveness of the opioid.
No more than 4 grams of Acetaminophen in 24 hours.

SouthernBelle92 3 May 2018

Hi Jamie,

In addition to what windchimes123 has said, you can call the pharmacy -- the phone number is listed on the medication label, or call your Doctor that prescribed the medication for you and ask them. I know in my own situation that my primary medication I take for pain is an extended release, but it doesnt have any indication of that, ie; ER, LA or SR, printed on the prescription label anywhere. I concur that one of the easiest ways to tell is to look at how often you can take one!! I take one pill every 12 hours with my primary ER pain med, and I am also ABLE to take one pill every 4 to 6 hours of my secondary, totally different, immediate release pain med for what they call "breakthrough" pain. Touching back once again to windchimes123, please note that I said, "I was ABLE to take... breakthrough pain." Very, very, VERY rarely do I ever take ALL the pain meds I am allowed to take over 24 hours.

Windchimes123 4 May 2018

Hi Southern Belle,
Very good answer !
What this tells me is that you have a good doctor and you are a compliant patient .
Your base Long-term meds are at a good dose. The rescue doses should only be used in case of emergency.
You don’t want the pain level to get out of control because it’s harder to break the cycle.
Someone who is taking the long-term AND the max amount of rescue meds is not under good pain management.
What happens in an emergency?
People tend to take more than ordered of the rescue med. The oroblem is you will run out before the end of the month.
I would increase the base meds to the point the rescues aren’t necessary.
Southern is a very good example ! free discount card

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