Manage Your Pain Meds with My Opioid Manager

By Sherry Baker @SherryNewsViews
July 21, 2022
Manage Your Pain Meds with My Opioid Manager

Although opioid abuse has become an epidemic, the medications do have their use. My Opioid Manager, a smartphone app, can help make treatment with opioids safe.

Cut your finger or twist your ankle, and you experience acute pain. It’s a normal reaction triggered by your nervous system to alert you about an injury. Over time, this kind of pain typically gets better and goes away. But when pain signals keep firing in the nervous system over and over for weeks, months and even years, it’s a different story. The result is often debilitating chronic pain that interferes with sleep, hampers your ability to work, and makes life harder overall.

Common causes of persistent pain include headaches back, hip, knee, and foot pain, according to a study by Harvard researchers. Results concluded that more than 50 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some kind of ongoing pain. Getting relief can be problematic.

While it’s true over-the-counter pain relievers and physical therapy can help many, for millions of others the only relief comes from a class of narcotics known as opioids. Opioids can be useful and appropriate medications in specific circumstances, such as helping patients cope with pain while recovering from major surgery or injuries.

There’s a serious downside to the drugs, however. Because tolerance can build up over time, patients may take more opioids than prescribed, risking extreme drowsiness linked to accidents, addiction, and potentially deadly overdoses.  


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That’s why it’s important for people who are prescribed opioids to keep track of how much medication they are taking and when, as well as the degree of pain they are experiencing, so they can work with their healthcare provider to more safely manage their opioid use.

With My Opioid Manager (MyOM), a free interactive app developed at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, chronic pain sufferers can track both their pain and their drug usage throughout the day and night with a few clicks on their smartphones.

The app was designed specifically to help patients with chronic, non-cancer pain use opioids as safely as possible. It allows users to easily make notes in pain diaries, track the intensity and location of their pain on body maps, and keep a record of how their pain changes through questionnaires. The app also provides information on drug side effects and allows users to quickly share information about their pain and medication usage with their healthcare providers so they can work with their doctors to make decisions about treatment.

"Patients need to know the risks, and better understand their dose, potential complications, and the interaction opioids have with other medications they may be taking," said Toronto Rehabilitation Institute scientist Andrea Furlan, MD, who helped create MyOM. "Patients are often very fearful of how their body will react to opioids or that they will become addicted. The app is designed to educate and hopefully dispel some of their fears."  

Lise Morency has experienced constant pain since April of 2013. Her condition resulted in sleep deprivation and left her unable to work. Although her doctor prescribed several types of opioids to relieve her discomfort, Morency said it took the My Opioid Manager app to help her understand how to manage her pain.

"Making daily notes of my pain levels, identifying them and their causes, and listing the pain medications I've taken as a result, gives me a clearer understanding of what leads to my discomforts and the importance of my part in it,” Morency said.

The free MyOM app includes an iBook to help patients understand and manage their pain and opioid usage. The app is available through the iTunes Store for iOS (iPhone/iPad).


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July 21, 2022

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN