Prescription Opioid Pain-relief is Overrated
After countless overdose deaths, it turns out that opioid pain-killers are actually no better than over the counter pain-killers. In a new head-to-head study against over the counter medicines such as Tylenol, ibuprofen and aspirin, opioid products made no significant improvement in pain reduction.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, for all their risks, opioids had no pain-relieving advantage in a yearlong clinical trial.
For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the dangers of addiction and overdoses became more clear, the drugs’ pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks. Now researchers have hard data that challenges this view.
In the first randomized clinical trial to make a head-to-head comparison between opioids and other kinds of pain medications, patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term than patients who used safer alternatives.
“There was no significant difference in pain-related function between the 2 groups over 12 months,” researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
“Treatment with opioids compared with non-opioid medications did not result in significantly better pain-related function over 12 months,” the study concluded. “Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain.”
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To read more about how new research casts serious doubt on the use of opioids for chronic pain, please visit The Los Angeles Times.