This information describes the Anesthesia Pain Service guidelines at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).
MSKCC's Anesthesia Pain Service is available to help control your pain by prescribing and adjusting pain medications. We also perform procedures such as nerve blocks or implanting pain devices.
We treat pain with medications such as opioids (also called narcotics). We must monitor you and these medications closely for your safety and for legal reasons. If you get your prescriptions from us, here are the guidelines you must follow.
- Only your pain doctor should write your prescriptions for pain medication, even if you have other doctors.
- Take your pain medication only as instructed by your pain doctor. Call our office to make any changes to your medication. If another doctor adjusts your pain medication you must call us to discuss the change by the next business day. Do not change the dose without speaking with your pain doctor or nurse.
- Do not suddenly stop taking your pain medication. If you suddenly stop taking opioids, you may have withdrawal symptoms (i.e., nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, sweats). If this happens and you have no pain medication, go to the closest emergency room or to the MSKCC Urgent Care Center.
- Keep track of when you will need a new prescription for your pain medication.
- Keep all appointments with your pain doctor. If you are getting opioids from us, we will need to see you in our clinic once a month.
- Keep your pain medication in a safe place away from others, especially children and pets. You may need to keep it in a locked box.
- Take at least a 1 day supply of your pain medication with you when you leave your home.
Getting Your Prescriptions
- Your pain doctor will write the prescriptions for your pain medication at your scheduled appointment.
- Pain medications such as opioids are controlled prescriptions. We cannot call in these prescriptions to your pharmacy. Please keep track of how much medication you have.
- If you have questions about your medication, please call Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Calls after 3:00 pm may not be attended to until the next business day. When you call you will be asked the name and dose of the medication you need. You will also need to leave your phone number so we can contact you if we have any questions.
- If your medications change, we may be able to send your new prescriptions to your home by UPS. This is done with the approval of your doctor. Your new prescription should arrive within 3 business days.
- We cannot send your prescriptions to your pharmacy or to a P.O. box.
Delivery is not available on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays. Remember, if you call on a Friday you will not receive your prescriptions until the following week.
You can pick up your prescriptions, but you need to call us 2 to 3 days in advance. Pick up your prescriptions in Suite 7 on the 4th floor of Memorial Hospital (1275 York Avenue between East 67th and East 68th Streets), Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. We are not open for prescription pick up on holidays.
- You can choose to fill your prescriptions at your local pharmacy or at an MSKCC pharmacy.
Lost or Stolen Prescriptions/Medication
It is important to keep track of your pain medication and prescriptions. If you lose your prescriptions or if your medication is stolen:
- You should report this to your local police station. Fax the police report to us at (212) 717-3206 or bring it to us in person.
- You may need a clinic appointment.
- Your prescription plan may not pay for your replacement medication. If so, you will be responsible for this cost.
Contacting the Anesthesia Pain Service
- If you have questions, need to speak with someone about your pain control, need prescriptions, or want to make an appointment, call (212) 639-6851 (Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm).
- You will be asked to leave your phone number so we can call you back. It is best if you call earlier in the day, so we can review your records or speak with your doctor, if needed. We do our best to call you back the same day or the next business day.
- If it is after regular hours and you are having an emergency, such as severe pain, you can page us at (917) 314-3477 for advice. You can also go to your local emergency room or come to the MSKCC Urgent Care Center.
Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, Box 24
New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 639-6851
Fax: (212) 717-3206
Pager: (917) 314-3477 (after regular hours)