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Optimizing Your Pain Therapy

Targeted Drug Delivery for Chronic Pain

There are a number of things you can do to help ensure you get the most from targeted drug delivery. Take an active role in your treatment by following these suggestions.

Refilling Your Pump

  • Talk to your doctor about how often you need to schedule a refill appointment. The frequency of your refill appointments will depend on the drug concentration and the amount of medication you receive each day.
  • Keep all refill appointments to ensure your pump does not run out of medication and to monitor the performance of the pump.

Talking with Your Doctor

  • If you have myPTM™, be sure to talk with your doctor about the number of doses programmed and the length of time between doses. Your doctor may need to adjust the programming to find a combination that meets your needs.
  • Tell your doctor if you are not feeling well, if you are having problems with your therapy, or if you are not receiving adequate pain relief.
  • Review your goals regularly with your doctor. Are you making progress toward achieving them? Is drug delivery therapy helping you reach your goals? What adjustments need to be made?

Using Your Personal Therapy Manager

  • If your doctor prescribes it, you may receive a personal therapy manager – myPTM – that works with your SynchroMed™ II drug pump to help control unpredictable pain.
    • With your personal therapy manager you can self-administer bolus doses of morphine from your pump when needed and within limits set by your doctor.
    • Be aware of when your drug pump can and cannot deliver a bolus dose. Immediately after a pump programming session or refill, there will be a lockout interval that determines when you may receive another bolus dose. Ask your doctor when you will be able to activate your first bolus dose.
  • If your doctor enables the patient diary feature on your personal therapy manager, you can use the diary to record the level of your pain symptoms before and after a bolus dose activation. With the diary you can play an active role in your pain management and help your doctor customize your therapy.

Following Your Treatment Plan

  • Follow the treatment plan developed by your doctor, including participating in physical therapy as prescribed.

Being Familiar with Your Pump System

  • Be aware of the critical (two-tone) alarm and the non-critical (single-tone) alarm on your SynchroMed II pump. After your implant, ask your doctor to temporarily program your pump to sound the alarms in his or her office so you will recognize the sound if an alarm goes off in the future.

For reference, here are the SynchroMed II pump alarms:

Please note that the volume of the alarm on your computer may be louder than the volume of the alarm heard from the implanted pump.

  • Expect your SynchroMed II to last between 5 and 7 years, depending on how much medicine you’re programmed to receive each day. When your pump is nearing the end of service, talk to your doctor about scheduling a pump replacement.

Using Caution

  • Learn the symptoms of a drug overdose and underdose.
  • Avoid activities that put stress on your SynchroMed system, including sudden, excessive, or repetitive bending, twisting, bouncing or stretching that can damage the pump or catheter or cause the catheter to become disconnected.

Join the Living Well Program

  • Living Well was created to provide patients with information and resources needed to live successfully with an implantable Medtronic pain device and continue to reach their goals.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.