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jt07

Study: Opiates no better than OTC pain meds

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The story is here. It was also on our local news. I can't seem to find the exact study citation. When I do, I will post it.

I don't know what to think of this. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say they were laying the groundwork to severely restrict or outright ban opiates given the current climate towards them.

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I should have pointed out that the study applies to chronic pain and not acute pain.

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Long term this could be correct due to tolerance.  The most useful way to use them is probably to control pain with other methods and then use them for breakthrough pain short term.   I am getting by with CBD oil, nerve blocks, and not sitting or standing for longer than an hour.

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It’s an interesting paper that will definitely continue to affect clinical practice.  There is a move away from opiates.

Worth noting that they studied a very specific type of chronic pain, mostly in men, and excluded people with severe mental illness, among other things. So that does change the ability to generalize. 

Like benzodiazepines, opiates are a tool that can be used or misused. Neither good nor bad inherently. They certainly have a role, but I think part of what this study is looking at is that the role is not as large as previously thought. 

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My own experience with both acute and chronic pain is opioids are way more effective than OTC meds. All NSAIDs have a 30 % chance of heart attack (Aleve, Ibuprofen), the FDA says avoid them. What are we supposed to do when we experience moderate to strong pain.

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I have not read it but I think the deal is that opiates are less effective over time.  After a couple months of daily opiates, they are no more effective than OTC meds. You get to a point of diminishing return where you have to keep increasing the dose to get the same effect. 

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