General Guideline Principles for Medications
for workers compensation patients

The New York State workers compensation board has developed these guidelines to help physicians, podiatrists, and other healthcare professionals provide appropriate treatment for Medications.

These Workers Compensation Board guidelines are intended to assist healthcare professionals in making decisions regarding the appropriate level of care for their patients with ankle and foot disorders.

The guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgement or professional experience. The ultimate decision regarding care must be made by the patient in consultation with his or her healthcare provider.

Medications of Therapeutic Procedures

Ibuprofen, aspirin, or other NSAIDs from an earlier generation are suggested as first-line treatments for the majority of patients.

For patients who are not candidates for NSAIDs, acetaminophen (or the analog paracetamol) may be a viable alternative, even if the majority of research indicates it is just marginally less effective than NSAIDs. There is proof that NSAIDs are less dangerous and just as effective in treating pain as opioids, such as tramadol.

  1. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) for Treatment of Acute, Subacute, or Chronic Back Pain

    Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) for Treatment of Acute, Subacute, or Chronic Back Pain are recommended for the treatment of sudden, gradual, or persistent back pain.

    Indications: NSAIDs are advised as a treatment for back pain that is acute, subacute, or chronic. First, try over-the-counter (OTC) medications to see whether they work.

    Frequency/Duration: Many patients could find it reasonable to use as needed. The symptom’s resolution, the medication’s ineffectiveness, or the emergence of side effects that require stopping.


  2. NSAIDs for Patients at High Risk of Bleeding

    NSAIDs for Patients at High Risk of Bleeding are recommended to people at high risk of intestinal bleeding to take misoprostol, sucralfate, dopamine Type 2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors together.

    Indications: Cytoprotective drugs should be taken into consideration for patients who have high-risk factor profiles and who also have indications for NSAIDs, especially if a prolonged course of treatment is planned. Patients who have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding in the past, the elderly, diabetics, and smokers are at risk.

    Frequency/Dose/Duration: H2 blockers, misoprostol, sucralfate, and proton pump inhibitors are advised. dosage recommendations from the manufacturer. It is generally accepted that there are no significant differences in effectiveness for preventing gastrointestinal bleeding.

    Indications for Discontinuation: Intolerance, the emergence of negative effects, or the stopping of NSAIDs.


  3. NSAIDs for Patients at Risk for Cardiovascular Adverse Effects

    NSAIDs for Patients at Risk for Cardiovascular Adverse Effects is recommended If necessary, non-selective NSAIDs are recommended for COX-2-specific medications. To reduce the chance that an NSAID will negate the protective effects of low-dose aspirin in individuals receiving it for primary or secondary cardio disease prevention, the NSAID should be taken either 30 minutes after or 8 hours before that first daily aspirin.


  4. Acetaminophen for Treatment of Back

    Acetaminophen for Treatment of Back Pain is recommended to relieve back pain, especially in those who have NSAID contraindications.

    Indications: Acute, subacute, chronic, and post-operative back pain in all patients. Dose/Frequency: As per the instructions; can be used as required. When our gm/day is exceeded, liver toxicity has shown to occur. Resolution of pain, unwanted effects, or intolerance are reasons to stop taking a medication


  5. Topical Medications

    Topical Medications is recommended In some people, topical creams, ointments, and lidocaine patches are used to relieve the pain brought on by acute, mild, or chronic back pain.

    Reasons behind the recommendation: In some people, TOPICAL DRUGS (such as capsaicin, cosmetic lidocaine, topical NSAIDs, topical inert ingredients, and non-salicylates) may be an appropriate type of treatment.

    To get the desired effect and prevent potential toxicity, a topical medication should be recommended with detailed administration instructions and a daily application limit.

    Since the long-term effects of usage are uncertain for the majority of patients, episodic use may be preferable. Individuals who prefer topical therapy to oral drugs may utilize these substances.

    Depending on the medicinal agent employed, localized cutaneous responses may happen. The topical drug should be taken into account by prescribers.


    • Capsaicin

      Although its usage is restricted by a local stinging or scorching sensation that usually goes away with continuous use, n offers a secure and efficient substitute for systemic NSAIDs.

      Patients need to be instructed to use the cream. using a paper glove or wool applicator over the afflicted area to prevent accidental contact with the mucous membranes and eyes. extended use of Capsaicin should not be used.

      Topical Numbing gel is only advised when a documented condition exists. identification of neuropathic pain, in this case, a trial lasting little more than longer than four weeks may be taken into consideration, with the requirement for Functional improvement evidence is a need for further use.


    • Topical NSAIDs

      (For instance, diclofenac gel) may reach tissue levels that have therapeutic potential. When systemic administration is often contraindicated (such as in patients with hypertension, heart failure, peptic ulcer disease, or renal insufficiency), the low amount of systemic administration can be favorable overall by permitting the topical use of these drugs.

      Topical Salicylates or No salicylates

      Do not seem to be more efficient than topical NSAIDs generally. Especially in individuals with chronic illnesses where systemic therapy is generally contraindicated, it may be administered for a short course or as an adjunct to systemic medication.


    • Opioids of Medications

      Opioids are not recommended for acute, subacute, or chronic back pain.

      Opioids are recommended for limited use (not more than seven days) for postoperative pain management as adjunctive therapy to more effective treatments.

      Indications: A brief prescription of opioids is frequently needed for postoperative pain control, especially at night, as an addition to more effective medications (notably NSAIDs, and acetaminophen).

      Frequency/Duration: As needed each day, then solely at night, and finally totally weaned off.

      The rationale for Recommendation: When NSAIDs are ineffective in relieving a patient’s pain, opioids should be used sparingly, especially at night. Opioids are advised for brief, selective usage in postoperative patients, with nighttime use being the main recommendation for achieving postoperative sleep.


  6. Anti-Depressants of Medications


    • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

      Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are recommended for the treatment of chronic back pain that has not responded to NSAIDs and exercise. Where there is sleep patterns disruption and mild dysthymia, this intervention may be beneficial.

      Frequency/Duration: Amitriptyline is typically administered at a very low dose at bedtime and steadily increases (e.g., increase by 25 mg per week) until a semi or maximal dose is acquired, sufficient effects are attained, or unpleasant effects occur.

      Since there is no proof that higher dosages of amitriptyline result in greater pain relief, most doctors opt for lower doses (e.g., 25 to 75 mg per day to prevent side effects and the need for blood level monitoring). Desipramine is less sedating, therefore it might be a better choice if there is transfer daytime sedation.

      Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are recommended radicular discomfort is treated with tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).

      There is insufficient data to support the claim that TCAs have a little greater pain-relieving effect than a placebo when treating radicular pain. Frequency: For non-acute back pain, the above recommendations for usage, frequency, duration, and discontinuation apply.


    • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, (e.g., paroxetine, as well as bupropion and trazodone)

      Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, (e.g., paroxetine, as well as bupropion and trazodone) are not recommended for the treatment of chronic pain.

      They might be suggested for the management of chronic back pain that coexists with psychiatric illnesses including depression, dysthymia, and others.

      The use of these SSRI drugs for the treatment of non-acute back problems without depression is not advised due to the compelling evidence that they are not beneficial.

      This intervention is not advised for the treatment of acute back pain in the absence of additional signs of a requirement for such care.


  7. Anti-Seizure Drugs of Medications


    • Topiramate

      Topiramate is recommended When other treatment options have failed, such as trials of various NSAIDs, aerobic activity, targeted stretching exercise, muscular exercise, tricyclic antidepressants, distractions, and manipulation, they may be used in a small number of people with non-acute back pain.

      Frequency/Dose: The dosage of this drug is progressively increased at first. Patients should be closely watched for the emergence of unfavorable events.

      Discontinuation: A functional restoration program’s completion, the onset of negative effects, or non-compliance. A careful watch should be kept on patients who are working, in part because the dangers of sedative effects on the nervous system (CNS) are higher.

      Topiramate is not recommended neuropathic pain, especially peripheral neuropathy, is not advised.


    • Carbamazepine

      Carbamazepine is recommended in addition to other treatments (e.g., other drugs, aerobic fitness, another exercise, manipulation) for non-acute radicular or neuropathic pain. Even though there isn’t good evidence to support it, if other treatments haven’t worked for your non-acute radicular back pain, you could try it.

      If outcomes from carbamazepine are adequate for pain management, oxcarbazepine and Lamictal may be helpful medications to try.

      Duration and frequency are determined by the recommended drug.

      Discontinuation: Back pain relief, ineffectiveness, or the emergence of adverse effects that demand discontinuation. Due to increased risks for CNS soothing side effects, patients who are employed should be carefully monitored.


    • Gabapentin and Pregabalin

      Gabapentin and Pregabalin are recommended. It is advised to use this method to manage pain during surgery rather than turning to opioids, especially if you have narcotic adverse effects.

      Discontinuation: Tolerance or resolution? A careful watch should be kept on patients who are working, in part because the dangers of CNS sedation are higher.

      Gabapentin and Pregabalin are recommended and may be taken into consideration for the treatment of non-acute radicular pain syndromes or severe neuropathic claudication from nerve damage with a limited short walk.

      Discontinuation: Tolerance or resolution? A careful watch should be kept on patients who are working, in part because the dangers of CNS sedation are higher.

      Gabapentin and Pregabalin are not recommended for non-acute non- neuropathic pain or back pain.


  8. Colchicine (Oral and IV Colchicine)

    Colchicine (Oral and IV Colchicine) are not recommended.


  9. Compound Medications

    Compound Medications is not recommended The use of systemic, oral, or topical chemical medicines is not advised.\


  10. Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

    Skeletal Muscle Relaxants are recommended When NSAIDs have failed to provide enough relief for moderate to severe acute low back pain, muscle relaxants (except carisoprodol) are advised as a second-line treatment


    • Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

      Skeletal Muscle Relaxants are not recommended for prolonged use in subacute or non-acute back pain or for moderate to mild acute back pain due to issues with side effects (other than acute exacerbations)

      Note: In the majority of instances, additional drugs, progressive walking, and other forms of exercise will suffice to control the symptoms. In general, it is advised that these medications be started at night and not during the working day or when patients intend to drive.

      Skeletal muscle relaxants should be prescribed with caution to people who have a history of anxiety, personality disorders, substance addiction, and/or misuse, especially alcohol or tobacco use.

      Cyclobenzaprine ought to be the first medication used if a muscular relaxant is deemed required in patients with all those issues, as it has the following benefits.

      Frequency/Duration: This first dose should be used in the evening regularly. It is not advised to take the first dose before beginning a shift at work or before operating a car or other piece of equipment.

      Daytime usage is permitted in situations where the patient has only minimally sedating effects on the CNS and there is little concern of sedation impairing the function of the patient or for the patient’s or others’ security.

      There is no proof. A significant benefit from taking medication at greater dosages (10 mg cyclobenzaprine, for example above 5 mg). If considerable daytime drowsiness occurs, the medicine should be stopped.


    • Skeletal Muscle Relaxants

      Skeletal Muscle Relaxants are recommended as second or 3rd treatments for acute post-surgical pain or acute radicular pain syndromes that are presumed to be orthopedic in origin.

      There may be other treatments that are more effective at reducing radicular pain. Muscle relaxants should typically be provided at nighttime in the beginning rather than during the day or when patients intend to use motor vehicles.

      Frequency/Duration: The first dose should be administered in the evening. When the patient has only had little CNS-sedating effects and there is low concern about sedation impairing function or endangering the patient’s or others’ safety, daytime use is appropriate.

      If severe daytime somnolence develops, the medicine may need to be stopped, especially if it prevents the patient from engaging in physical activity and other rehabilitation plan components.


  11. Systemic Glucocorticosteroids (aka “Steroids”)

    Systemic Glucocorticosteroids (aka “Steroids”) is recommended medication in a few people with acute severe radicular pain syndromes to get temporary pain relief.

    Frequency/Duration: For a specific episode of radicular pain, a single course (5 to 14 days) of oral medicine (i.e., a tapering amount of methylprednisolone) should be provided. Epidural steroid injections are preferable if additional therapy is required because they more effectively deliver the drug to the damaged tissue.


  12. Intravenous steroids

    Intravenous steroids are recommended Only hospitalised patients who are in the midst of an acute neurological emergency should be involved. Experts on the spinal cord should be consulted to decide the dosage and duration of the intravenous steroids.

    In an emergency circumstance, the danger of pharmacologic side effects of steroids typically outweighs the risk of long-term neurological impairment from acute spinal cord compression.


  13. Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibitor

    Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibitors are not recommended to alleviate radicular discomfort syndromes. Not recommended for the treatment of both acute and chronic back pain.

What our office can do if you have workers compensation Medications

We have the experience to help you with their workers compensation injuries. We understand what you are going through and will meet your medical needs and follow the guidelines set by the New York State Workers Compensation Board.

We understand the importance of your workers compensation cases. Let us help you navigate through the maze of dealing with the workers compensation insurance company and your employer.

We understand that this is a stressful time for you and your family. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us so we will do everything we can to make it as easy on you as possible.


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