LIving With Pain: Chronic Opioid Therapy

By | March 2, 2011

Is this really the best we can do in 2011?

A word about chronic opioid therapy is in order here. The late 1990’s were a time of active interest in long-term narcotic therapy for a variety of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. Initial results were quite promising as initial results often are. Authors such as Brown in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, Jamieson in Spine and Collett in the British Journal of Anaesthesia all reported favorable results. Follow up studies such Quang-Cantagrel in Anesthesia and Analgesia began to discuss the problems with long-term narcotic therapy and possible remedies. Suffice it to say that many of us who treat chronic pain now consider long-term narcotic therapy to be at best a second rate approach and something to be resorted to only temporarily while a better solution is being sought or for people who have truly failed all other approaches or more disturbingly when you do not possess the skill to attempt other forms or treatment or the intellectual honesty to refer the patient to a colleague for more appropriate care.

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