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29 Jul 2020
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Opioids unlikely to be helpful for long-term management of chronic noncancer pain

13 Jun 2019

The use of opioids may have limited long-term efficacy in the management of chronic noncancer pain (CNCP), reports a new study.

Researchers conducted a 2-year prospective cohort study including 529 CNCP patients (71.6 percent female). Propensity score matching was performed to control for characteristic differences between those with and without opioid use. The Brief Pain Inventory and short version of the Treatment Outcomes in Pain Survey were used to assess pain outcomes and quality of life.

At baseline, the prevalence of opioid prescription was 59.7 percent. Of the 316 prescriptions, 86 (16.2 percent) were for strong opioids. The overall rate rose to 60.3 percent (n=319) and 72.6 percent (n=384) after 5 and 12 months of follow-up. While there was a slight dip in overall prescription prevalence by 24 months (70.3 percent; n=372), prescription prevalence for strong opioids grew substantially (42.7 percent; n=226).

After propensity score matching, researchers found no clear indication that long-term opioid use held significant benefits. At 12 months, in nonusers, for example, the rates of clinical improvement in pain symptoms (p=0.014), physical function of the lower body (p=0.014) and severity (p=0.001) were significantly higher than their opioid-using counterparts.

In contrast, users showed a significantly higher rate of improvement in satisfaction with outcomes (p=0.030) and with care (p=0.044).

“Opioid users presented no improvement regarding pain relief, functional outcomes and quality of life over 2 years of follow-up. Therefore, our results support and highlight the limited effectiveness of opioids in long-term CNCP management,” said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
29 Jul 2020
Adjunctive perampanel appears to be safe and effective for long-term treatment of patients with tonic‐clonic seizures, according to a posthoc analysis.
27 Apr 2020
Long-term use of brivaracetam as an adjunctive treatment is well tolerated and effective in patients with focal seizures or primary generalized seizures, as shown in a study.
01 Apr 2019
Perampanel is safe and effective for treating refractory focal seizures in both Asian and non‐Asian populations, a study has found.
Elvira Manzano, 20 Jun 2018
A higher proportion of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) experienced improvements in joint and skin symptoms with baricitinib 4 mg once daily vs placebo in a phase II randomized, double-blind, global study.