There is little evidence that patients with chronic pain who receive long-term opioid treatment have improved function, enhanced quality of life, or diminished pain, according to a position paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Based on a National Institutes of Health workshop on the role of opioids for pain management, a panel recommends that “in the absence of definitive evidence, clinicians and health care systems should follow current guidelines by professional societies about which patients and which types of pain should be treated with opioids and about how best to monitor patients and mitigate risk for harm.”
The panel calls for more research on: multidisciplinary pain interventions, identification of patients most at risk for opioid-related harms, and risk-mitigation strategies.
Separately in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a review article finds that some harms of opioid therapy appear to be dose-dependent.
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