Considerations in 2017–2018 for the Use of Opioids in Non-terminal Pain
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Purpose of Review
Despite external pressure on medical providers to reduce opioid prescribing, patients with chronic, non-terminal pain continue to present to their physicians requesting pharmacologic assistance with low back pain, arthritis, neuropathy, migraine headaches, and other forms of non-terminal pain lasting more than 3 months.
In the last 2 years, updated systematic meta-analyses and one randomized, controlled trial have still been unable to find evidence of benefit from use of opioid therapy longer than 3 months for treatment of non-terminal pain.
With substantial evidence about the potential risks of opioid use and a relative paucity of evidence supporting their long-term use, prescribers are asked to be more judicious in their selection of patients, continuously weighing the risks and benefits.
KeywordsOpioid Chronic pain Chronic non-cancer pain Chronic non-terminal pain
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Kenneth S. Tseng declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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