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For patients living with persistent or 'chronic' pain of any kind - we advise them to use the pain toolkit. This is in line with NICE recommendations which provides guidance on the management of persistent pain conditions. It is increasingly clear that for many types of persistent pain profiles that medication has either no effect or a limited effect. The Pain Toolkit is an interactive and simple information booklet that provides you with tips and advice on developing skills to support you along the route of self-managing your pain or long-term health condition. We recommend all patients with persistent or complex pain to enroll on the condition management courses

These are core components of managing long-term conditions which cause you daily problems.


Opioid medications (like tramadol, codeine phosphate and morphine-like medicines) can be useful for 'acute' or short-term pain, like after surgery or an acute injury. They are also useful in pain associated with cancer. However, there is little evidence to suggest that they are useful in long-term persistent pain management. They are addictive medications and can have long-term side-effects. We aim to prescribe these for as short as period as possible. This is why these medications are not dispensed on repeat prescription, and we always recommend using the lowest amount you can for the shortest amount of time. This is in keeping with guidance from the Faculty of Pain Management (UK), The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as well as our local prescribing guidelines.

The same is true of 'benzodiazepines' like 'diazepam' and medicines that are classed as 'sleeping tablets' (like 'zopiclone' etc). These are not able to be prescribed on an ongoing/repeat basis and if they are prescribed, can only be short-term. 

Please read our benzodiazepine/opioid policy here.

Understanding Pain - Stopping opioids:

Understanding Pain - and what to do about it:

Other Resources

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