Frequently Asked Questions

What is Long-term pain?
Pain is usually considered long-term when it is experienced for a minimum of 3 months Long-term pain caused by a variety of conditions (with the exception of cancer) is also sometimes called chronic pain or persistent pain.

What are Opioids?
Researchers at Keele University have created a short animation explaining which medicines that are commonly taken by people with long-lasting pain are opioids and which are not. You can watch the animation below.

Opioids are a group of medicines used for pain that are related to opium, an extract of poppy seeds. Some opioids are naturally occurring, for example morphine and codeine. Other opioids are synthetic, which means they are made in a laboratory but act in the same way as naturally occurring opioids do. There are different strengths of opioids, from weak to strong, although the strength also depends on the amount taken.

Opioids are commonly prescribed to people with long-term pain in the UK. Morphine is the best known opioid and it is a strong opioid; fentanyl and oxycodone are strong opioids too. codeine and dihydrocodeine are weaker opioids. Tramadol and tapentadol are medicines that have a dual action. In part they work like a stronger opioid and in part they work more like an antidepressant. Sometimes opioids are mixed with paracetamol, for example co-codamol, co-dydramol and tramacet.

Opioids taken for long-lasting pain are most commonly dispensed as tablets and capsules, but there are opioid patches containing buprenorphine or fentanyl. Opioids come in other forms too including liquids, injections and lozenges that dissolve in the mouth or under the tongue, but these are not often used for long-lasting pain. The majority of opioids are prescribed by health care professionals. Small doses of weak opioids (such as codeine), combined with paracetamol can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.

Not all medicines used for pain are opioids, for example paracetamol on its own is not an opioid. Aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen are taken for pain and belong to a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Antidepressant medicines like amitriptyline and duloxetine and anti-epilepsy (anticonvulsant) medicines like gabapentin and pregabalin are sometimes prescribed for long-lasting pain, but none of these are opioids. Diazepam is not an opioid either, it is an anti-anxiety medicine and is sometimes prescribed short-term for painful muscle spasm.

Medicines have one chemical or generic name but may have a number of different brand (trade) names, which can be confusing. The generic names of opioids which are prescribed for long-lasting pain include buprenorphine, co-codamol, codeine, co-dydramol, diamorphine, dihydrocodeine, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, pethidine, tapentadol and tramadol. There are many brand names for these medicines too. Your community pharmacist will be able to tell you whether the medicine you are taking is an opioid.

What is PROMPPT?
PROMPPT is the title of the 5-year research project. PROMPPT stands for: Proactive clinical Review of patients taking Opioid Medicines long-term for persistent Pain led by clinical Pharmacists in primary care Teams
You can watch our video introducing the study here.

What is Q-PROMPPT?
Q-PROMPPT is what we have called the first part of the PROMPPT study. Q-PROMPPT involves a series of interviews, focus groups and an online discussion forum, the Q-PROMPPT Blog, to find out about patients, clinical pharmacists and GPs’ experiences and views on:
  • Using regular medication, particularly opioids, for long-term pain
  • How pain medicines are currently managed and how they could be reviewed in future
  • The idea of clinical pharmacists in GP surgeries reviewing patients on regular opioids
  • What would make a pain medicines review relevant, useful and appealing to patients, clinical pharmacists and GPs

  • What is a Clinical Pharmacist?
    Clinical pharmacists provide expert advice on medicines to patients, doctors and other health care professionals. Clinical pharmacists can prescribe medicines, just like a doctor. They do not dispense medicines, instead these are collected from a community pharmacy in the usual way. Watch a short video introducing clinical pharmacists here.

    What is a GP?
    General Practitioner or family doctor who is usually the first point of contact when someone has a health issue.

    FAQs: The Q-PROMPPT Blog

    What is the Q-PROMPPT Blog?
    The Q-PROMPPT Blog is a place for people living with long-term pain and using regular opioid medicines to discuss their experiences and share their views. The blog forms part of a larger research project called PROMPPT, and more information can be found in the participant information sheet. It is not the purpose of this site to offer information or guidance on living with long-term pain, pain medicines, or pain management. It is not the aim of this site to provide guidance or recommendations relating to long-term pain. The views expressed are those of study participants and not necessarily those of the study team, Keele University, or NIHR. Advice offered by users of the site is not endorsed by study team or Keele University, or NIHR.

    Who can join the Q-PROMPPT Blog?
    If you are over 18 years, living with persistent pain, and using regular opioid medicines you are invited to join the Q-PROMPPT Blog.

    How do I join the Q-PROMPPT Blog?
    If you would like to join the Q-PROMPPT Blog please visit our information page where you can read the Participant Information Sheet and a link to register for the blog. The Participant Information Sheet describes what participation will involve and how the information from the study will be used. By clicking on the registration button you will be asked for your informed consent to participate in the research study before you can sign up to the blog.

    When I try and create an account I am getting an error message: We cannot detect if your account was created, please ensure you have cookies enabled
    Cookies need to be enabled for an account to be created. You can manually enable cookies in your browser. If you are unsure how to enable cookies this website offers a useful guide.

    How do I log in to the Q-PROMPPT Blog?
    Once you have registered for the blog you can sign up and log in to the blog. You will need your username given to you at registration and your password. Once logged in feel free to explore different discussion topics on our Topic List.

    What is my username?
    You are provided with a username during the registration process for the Q-PROMPPT Blog. Your username is a random combination of letters and numbers to ensure anonymity for all participants. It is advisable to note down your username for future reference.

    I have forgotten my password for the Q-PROMPPT Blog and can’t login.
    1. On the log in window, click ‘I have forgotten my password’.
    2. You will be prompted to enter the email address you used to register.
    3. Click ‘Reset password’
    4. An email will be sent to you from Q-PROMPPT Blog.
    5. There will be two links included in the email. To reset your password, click on the second link that follows the text: ‘Click the following link to choose a new password:’
    6. Enter a new password that has a minimum of 8 characters.
    I have forgotten my username for the Q-PROMPPT Blog and can’t login.
    1. On the log in window, enter your email under ‘Screen Name’, and click ‘Login via email’.
    2. An email will be sent to you from Q-PROMPPT Blog.
    3. There will be two links included in the email. To log in, click on the second link that follows the text: ‘Click the following link to log in:’
    4. Once in the blog, hover your mouse over your participant icon to see your username
    How do I log out?
    1. To log out click on your participant icon displayed in the top right-hand corner (e.g., )
    2. Click on ‘Log Out’
    Do I have to take part?
    You are free to decide whether you wish to take part or not. For more information please read the Participant Information Sheet.

    How do I withdraw from the study and unregister from the Q-PROMPPT Blog?
    All registered user accounts will be deleted after the Q-PROMPPT closes. If you wish to withdraw from the study and unregister from the blog please send a message to the Q-PROMPPT team (Q-Team). Log in to the blog and click on the green icon that can be found at the top of any of the blog's discussion pages and select message. Type a message informing the team of your wish to withdraw and click 'Message' to send.

    Who can I contact if I have a question about the Q-PROMPPT blog?
    Information about the Q-PROMPPT Blog can be found in the Participant Information Sheet. If you wish to contact a member of the study team directly, please send a direct message to the Q-PROMPPT team via the Q-PROMPPT blog website.
    1. Log in to the Q-PROMPPT blog
    2. Click into any discussion topic
    3. Click on the Q in the green circle found in the top left-hand corner of the page
    4. Click Message
    5. Type your question
    6. Click Message to send.
    A member of the Q-PROMPPT blog team will respond to your message as soon as possible.