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Opioids vs Non-Opioids

The opioid crisis has left many doctors and patients alike searching for viable alternatives when treating chronic pain. Check out the following study recently published on JAMA Network which compares opioid vs nonopioid medication over a period of 12 months on patients with chronic back, hip or knee osteoarthritis pain. The goal was to find which was better at improving pain-related function.

Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain -Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Opioid medications used were morphine, oxycodone or hydrocodone/acetaminophen compared with the nonopioid medications acetaminophen or an NSAID. The study concluded: "Treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with nonopioid medications for improving pain-related function over 12 months. Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain."


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