Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Understanding Suspicion in the Emergency Room continued...

ER doctors have one useful tool, though. Currently, 34 states have prescription drug monitoring programs that allow doctors to check a patient’s prescription history online. “I can look up a patient and see all the prescriptions that have been filled for controlled substances,” says Blumstein, who practices in North Carolina. Doctors can use the database to corroborate a patient’s story. Or they might see patterns that warn them to probe further for drug abuse, for example, prescriptions from numerous physicians that have been filled at multiple pharmacies.

“It is an unbelievably great tool for physicians,” says Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

But ER doctors also rely on instincts, Blumstein says. “It’s all perception. It’s the whole gut impression that the health-care providers get about you.”

So how can a patient with chronic pain convince the ER staff that his or her complaints are legitimate? Here are a few tips from the pain experts:

1. Make sure that you have a regular physician who treats your chronic pain.

That’s a relationship that all chronic pain patients should establish before they ever set foot in an emergency room, Blumstein says. But many people don’t have a doctor, he says, “and it looks really bad from a doctor’s point of view when a patient comes in and says, ‘Oh, I have this terrible chronic pain,’ and the doctor says, ‘Who’s taking care of this terrible chronic pain?’ and the patient says, ‘Oh, I don’t have a doctor.’”

“Before you get into a situation where there’s an exacerbation of your condition, make sure you have a regular doctor treating you,” he says.

2. Show that you’ve tried to contact your regular doctor before you go to the ER.

If you’ve been in pain for five days and have not alerted your doctor, the ER staff will question how bad your pain really is, Blumstein says. Even if the pain struck just that day, make an effort to contact your regular doctor first, he suggests.

Chronic Pain Poll

Are you satisfied with your pain treatment?

View Results

10 Tips to Reduce Chronic Pain

What you can do at home every day to relieve pain.
View slideshow

WebMD Video

Stress and Chronic Pain

We all know how bad we feel when we're under stress. Now, researchers are examining how emotions may play a role in physical pain.

Click here to watch video: WebMD Video