For Arthritis Pain, Nonopioid Drugs Work as Well as Opioids

For Arthritis Pain, Nonopioid Drugs Work as Well as Opioids


Opioids aren’t any higher than nonopioid ache relievers for treating the power ache of osteoarthritis, a medical trial has discovered.

Researchers randomized 240 sufferers with reasonable to extreme power again ache or hip or knee osteoarthritis to both an opioid (morphine, oxycodone or hydrocodone) or to nonopioid ache relievers (equivalent to Tylenol, topical lidocaine or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication). The study, in JAMA, used 11-point ache and performance scales to measure the impact of remedy, with increased scores indicating poorer outcomes. That is, the authors write, the primary randomized trial of opioid remedy to report long-term ache and performance outcomes.

On the finish of 12 months, the opioid group scored a median three.four on the operate scale, and the nonopioid group three.three, an insignificant distinction. On the ache scale, the nonopioid group did barely higher — three.5, in contrast with for the opioid group.

Unsurprisingly, there have been considerably extra medicine unwanted effects within the opioid group than in those that took nonopioids.

“Ought to we use opioids if nonopioids don’t work?” requested the lead writer, Dr. Erin E. Krebs of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Well being Care System. She answered her personal query: “No. We tried 4 completely different nonopioids — don’t quit on them too quickly — and we also needs to be utilizing train and rehab for many osteoarthritic ache.”

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