New study examines opioid pain medications

March 07, 2018 05:24 AM

A rise in opioid addictions and opioid-related deaths has impacted communities across the country. Now, a new study looks at whether opioid pain medications are more effective when it comes to treating chronic pain.

The study examined 240 patients with moderate to severe chronic pain. Researchers found that after a year of treatment, the group taking the opioids was not functioning any better than the folks who treated their pain with non-opioids. Also, the people who took the opioids reported suffering more medication-related symptoms.

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A doctor, who was not directly part of the study, says, because of the risks associated with opioid use, it's important to look at other options first before turning to opioids for any sort of pain relief.

“We always want to select the type of medications for our patients that have the greatest benefit with the least amount of side effects,” said Dr. Robert Bolash of the Cleveland Clinic. “And so, this study really shows us that we can utilize medications that have very good efficacy, which are very potent, but lack some of those side effects associated with the opioid family of medicines."

Bolash says treating chronic pain is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It's important to consult a doctor for an individualized plan that works for you.

This is what a local pain specialist shared with us in our special opioid reports in February. You can see those stories on our NewsChannel 13 Investigates page here.



WNYT Staff

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