Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Pain Medication: ER vs IR

SHModeratorSHModerator Posts: 43
edited 08/04/2015 - 5:24 PM in Pain Medications
Many times folks here ask the question What is the difference between ER and IR medications and what is breakthrough?

All very legitimate questions and until you have been dealing with pain for a while and various prescriptions, there would be no need for any of you to understand that.

ER - Extended Release

These medications are designed to provide a patient with an even amount of pain relief through a course of time. Normally that spans 10 hours.
Based on a patients problem, that could be changed to 8 hours or 12 hours.

The actual dosages of these ER medications will vary. I will use Oxycontin as an example, since that is a medication many people have heard about.
It comes in various dosages, 10, 20, 40, 60, etc0 mg per pill. The amount you need is something that your doctor will decide, Normally you take these ER medications twice a day. The objective of ER medications is to provide the patient with a constant amount of pain relief without doing so much that the patient is knocked out

IR - Immediate Release

These medications are designed to provide the patient with quick relief from pain. Many people who have first been on pain medications are normally prescribed this type. (ie Vicodin, Percocet, etc) They do their job, provide a patient with instant relief, but its something that does not last a long time.


These medications are used for patients that are taking ER medications. During the course of time between ER dosages, these breakthrough medications are designed to help the patient with pain relief.

To put it in very simple terms. When you are taking ER medications, you may not feel that you are taking anything. BUT, the fact is you should also be having less pain. Now, the IR. That is the immediate relief. You may or may not feel that sense of euphoria. That relief though is normally short term.

The most important point is that You should NEVER crush any ER medication
You take them whole. It could create respiratory problems and potentially fatal if you ingested crushed ER medication.
Ron DiLauro,  Spine-Health
Sign In or Register to comment.