January 16, 2019 – Pain Treatment
Anchor lead: Opioids really aren’t always best when it comes to pain, Elizabeth Tracey reports
When it comes to pain treatment, opioid medications are best, right? Wrong, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found. The study found that for pain that is not related to cancer, opioids may not be effective while other types of treatments will. Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says that’s all to the good.
Strain: We know now that opioids are not the panacea for all chronic pain conditions. Clearly there are some patients who do well on chronic opioids for chronic pain. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater in that case. But there’s a lot of patients who develop side effects from opioids, and they may respond well to other non-opioid interventions, physical therapy, ice, medications that are not opioids for the treatment of their pain. And there’s a growing recognition of that. :31
Strain says many patients now are asking their physicians for alternatives to opioids. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.