New Painkiller Guidelines
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 02, 2014 03:16 PM

"There have been more deaths from prescription opioids in the most vulnerable young to middle-aged groups than from firearms and car accidents."

The risks of powerful narcotic painkillers outweigh their benefits for treating chronic headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, a new statement from the American Academy of Neurology says.  The drugs can cause serious side effects, overdose, addiction and death. Research shows that 50 percent of patients who took opioids for at least three months are still on them five years later, according to the academy.

Narcotic, or opioid, painkillers include medications such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin), methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone or a combination of the drugs with acetaminophen.  "More than 100,000 people have died from prescription opioid use since policies changed in the late 1990s to allow much more liberal long-term use."  Studies find that while opioids may provide short-term pain relief, there is no proof that they maintain pain relief or improve patients' ability to function over long periods of time without a serious risk of overdose, dependence or addiction, the statement says.

Source:  http://consumer.healthday.com/bone-and-joint-information-4/oxycontin-news-861/painkiller-guidelines-issued-by-doctors-group-692116.html