/ Print /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Are non-opioid therapies more desirable than opioids for chronic pain?


    Opioid medications achieve no better results than non-opioid medications for long-term treatment of chronic back pain and osteoarthritis pain, according to researchers from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

    Findings of the study were presented in April at the SGIM 2017 Annual Meeting, in Washington, D.C., and is said to be the first completed randomized controlled trial of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain.


    “This study is pertinent to managed care executives because opioid therapy is widely prescribed and not as effective as non-opioid pain treatment options,” says Erin Krebs, MD, the chief author, who holds appointments at the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research, Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

    The randomized study of 240 veterans compared opioid therapy versus non-opioid medication therapy over 12 months. Patients treated for back, hip, or knee pain at VA primary care clinics were identified through searches of the electronic medical record and screened by telephone for eligibility. Patients with chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain of at least moderate severity despite analgesic use were eligible. Eligible patients who consented and completed a baseline assessment visit were randomized to either the opioid therapy arm or the non-opioid medication therapy arm.

    Multiple medications available on the formulary were included in each arm. Both interventions (opioid therapy and non-opioid therapy) were delivered using a telecare collaborative management model, with pain medication management provided for 12 months; medications were tailored to patient preferences and adjusted within the assigned treatment arm to achieve improvement in pain and individual functional goals.

    Outcomes were evaluated by masked assessors at three, six, nine, and 12 months after enrollment. The primary outcome was the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) interference scale, a patient-reported measure of pain interference with function. The BPI severity scale was used to assess pain intensity and a checklist of adverse symptoms was used to evaluate side effects of medication therapy.

    “We found no significant advantage of opioid therapy compared with non-opioid medication therapy over 12 months,” Krebs says. “More patients treated with non-opioid medications had significant improvement in pain. Patients treated with opioid medications had more medication side effects. In the context of prior studies that have documented higher rates of serious harms among patients receiving opioid therapy, our findings support the recent CDC recommendation that non-opioid therapies are preferred over opioids for chronic pain.”

    Next: More pain-related findings

    1 Comment

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • Anonymous
      Hello Everyone I Wish To Inform The General Public How I Was Cured From (HIV VIRUS That Lasted In My System For 3yrs) By Dr Ezomo I Visited Different Hospitals But They Gave Me List Of Drugs Which Is Very Expensive To Treat The Symptoms And Never Cured Me. I Was Really Loosen My Mind By Thinking And Worried That I Wont Get Cured, one morning i Was Browsing Through The Internet Searching For Remedy When I Saw Comment Of People Talking About How Dr Ezomo Cured Them, Some Speak Of His Cure For Herpes, Cancer, Siphilis And Many More And I Was Curious About It, I Contacted Dr Ezomo Via His Website I Saw Online He Asured Me That I Will Get Cured Then He Told Me What I Need To Do Which I Did Without Hesitation Before three Days He Sent An Herbal Medicine To Me That I Took And The Herbal Medicine Was Really Active According To Him I Took The Medicine, Week later I went for check up to my greatest surprise My Hiv Result Came Out Negative. I’m Cured, You Can Also Get Yourself Cured My Friends Through Dr Ezomo Who GOd Used To Put Smiles On My Face Again, Believe It Or Not Everything Is Possible And Dr Ezomo Is For Real. You Can Reach Him through The Following: EMAIL: [email protected] WhatsApp number: +2347017524691 God bless you Ezomo

    Follow Us On Twitter

    Find us on Facebook

    Latest Tweets Follow