Medications and Pain Management | Medical Center | UC Davis Health

Medications and Pain Management

You’ll bring a list of all medications to the hospital, detailing name, prescribed dose, purpose, and actual intake. Our pain relief plan aims for comfort through medications and alternative methods, with regular discussions on effectiveness. We are committed to employing every possible measure to address your pain in a safe manner, ensuring your comfort throughout the process.

Please bring a list of ALL your medications (but leave the actual medications at home). For each medication, your list should include the:

  • name
  • prescribed dose
  • reason for taking it
  • how much you actually take

Medications can be an important part of your hospital stay. Feel free to ask questions about the medications you are given and possible side effects.You should always ask three questions:

  • What are the name(s)?
  • Why do I need to take them?
  • What are possible side effects?

Please tell your nurse or doctor if you have any questions about your medications.

It isn’t always possible to take away all of your pain. A lot depends on your condition. However, we will do all we can to treat your pain safely so that you can be comfortable.

Please tell us:

  • Where you feel the pain, how often you feel it, and how long it lasts.
  • What the pain feels like. For example, is it dull, sharp, cramping, throbbing, burning or stabbing?
  • What makes the pain better or worse.
  • Which pain medications did or did not work for you in the past.
  • If any pain medications have given you unacceptable side effects, such as constipation, nausea/vomiting, itching, or extra sleepiness.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medications, such as itching, rashes or trouble breathing.
  • Which over-the-counter products, home remedies, herbal supplements, teas, vitamins and other products you are taking.
  • What pain medications you have taken in the past week, months and year.

Our pain relief plan for you is to:

  • Reach a level of comfort and function that is right for you.
  • Give you pain medications according to your needs.
  • Use other proven methods of pain relief, such as heat, ice, repositioning and massage.
  • Have a regular discussion about how the pain relief plan is working for you.

If you are experiencing pain, please notify a member of your health care team right away. Your nurse will also ask you about your pain at regular intervals.

State-required screening

It is state law to test patients when admitted to a hospital for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.

A swab of your nose will be taken and tested. If your test is positive, you will receive further information about MRSA. MRSA is a type of bacteria that can cause a staph infection.

Staphylococcus or staph bacteria normally live on your skin and in your nose, usually without causing problems. Sometimes the bacteria cause infection, but these infections can usually be treated with antibiotics.

But MRSA infections are harder to treat than other staph infections, because many antibiotics may not be able to kill MRSA. For some people, especially those who are weak or ill, MRSA infections can become serious.

MRSA can spread from person to person, commonly from the hands of someone who has MRSA. This could be anyone in a health care setting or in the community. A person can be positive for MRSA but not be sick from it; in this case they are a “carrier.”

To prevent the spread of all microorganisms, including MRSA, at our medical center, it is our policy to practice good hand hygiene at all times with all patients; to practice careful use of antibiotics; and to pay careful attention to the cleaning of your environment and equipment.

Things you can do:

To help protect yourself and others, you can:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • remind your care staff and visitors to wash their hands before touching you
  • avoid sharing personal items such as towels with others
  • tell your care team if you notice red bumps on your skin, or red and tender skin around a wound.

A note about antibiotics

While we may prescribe antibiotics to treat for bacteria such as MRSA, antibiotics don’t kill viruses. Antibiotics can treat infections caused by bacteria. They don’t treat infections from viruses – such as the common cold, the flu, and most sore throats and sinus infections.

Overuse of antibiotics in the community has led to an increase in bacteria that are no longer killed by common antibiotics. In your daily life, only use antibiotics under guidance of a health care professional!