Opioids vs non-opioids: Which are better?

Author(s): American Nurse Today

In some situations, the answer may be neither. In a recent randomized clinical trial of 240 patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis despite analgesic use, the researchers found no significantly better pain-related function when patients received opioid versus non-opioid medication.

In the opioid group, patients were started on immediate-release morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone/acetaminophen. The non-opioid group of patients started with acetaminophen (paracetamol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. In both groups, medications were added or adjusted based on individual patient response. Over 12 months, the groups did not significantly differ on pain-related function.

You can read more about the study here. And for an opioid update, download this infographic.

Source: jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2673971?redirect=true

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