According to a new study, opioids are not effective anymore against chronic pain. As the researchers reported, people can also rely on over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which is excellent news for many, mainly since the US and Canada face an opioid crisis.
“There was this dramatic increase in opioid prescribing in the 1990s and early 2000s and only now, 20 years later, is it being made clear that these medications may not work at all, or if they do have a benefit, it’s very small,” explained Nav Persaud from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital and a scientist at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
The study’ report, issued Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was a meta-analysis of more than 100 previous studies on the efficacy of opioids in curing chronic pain that’s not caused by cancer. The researchers compared opioids to placebo pills and other pain-relieving drugs. The study concluded that opioids are just a little bit more effective than the other pills, as reported by The Globe And Mail.
Opioids Are Not Effective Anymore Against Chronic Pain
“Opioids won’t work for most patients. For those that do, those benefits will often attenuate over time. So why is it that so many patients, when started on long-term opioid therapy, will continue,” said Jason Busse, the study’s leading author and associate professor at McMaster University in Hamilton.
Canada is affected by the current opioid crisis as more and more people are hospitalized due to overdoses of opioids or adverse effects of their consumption. The recent study’s results could change the populations’ beliefs regarding opioids and make people consider other pain-relieving pills.
“But prescription opioids are still an important part of the problem that shouldn’t be ignored,” Dr. Busse said, cited by The Globe And Mail.