Traditionally, opioid medications have been prescribed for postsurgical pain, but given the ongoing opioid-addiction epidemic, doctors are in search of safer alternatives. In this video, Dr. David Sherer, anesthesiologist and author of Bottom Line’s What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You blog, discusses a few of these alternatives. One such medication is Exparel, which works by releasing a local anesthetic to the surgical site over time. Another promising opioid alternative is IV ketamine, which also works as an anesthetic. Additionally, some antidepressants can do double duty as a painkiller following surgery. Finally, natural alternatives—such as listening to music—can help the body release its own painkilling endorphins.

David Sherer, MD, is an American physician, inventor, and author. He currently practices anesthesiology in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and is a tireless advocate for hospitalized patients. For more great tips from Dr. Sherer, check out his other videos and Bottom Line blog “What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You.”

For more with Dr. Sherer, click here for his podcast and video interviews, or purchase his memoir, The House of Black and White: My Life with and Search for Louise Johnson Morris.