Fibromyalgia and the Nature of Pain Itself: Part 4, Narcotic Insensitivity

By | August 9, 2011

Narcotics are avoided not because they are bad, but because they don't work.

Another interesting feature of fibromyalgia is that narcotics are completely ineffective. While some patients will say that in the beginning oral opiates “help me get through my day” even though they do not relieve the pain, many studies have shown that narcotics impede the natural recovery of these patients. In my opinion, if you for some reason wanted to change the character of this disease from a remitting and relapsing condition to a purely degenerative one, narcotics are the perfect agent.

This is important not only with respect to fibromyalgia patients, but it highlights the differences between different chronic pain syndromes. While narcotics are ineffective in treating fibromyalgia, they are very effective in treating a broken leg and even mild or moderate pain from breast cancer metastatic to bone (but not to the spinal cord or major neural plexi).

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