Prescription Opioids Fail new Rigorous Test for Chronic Pain

Yearlong study offers new evidence.

CHICAGO (AP) – A yearlong study offers rigorous new evidence against using prescription opioids for chronic pain

In patients with stubborn back aches or hip or knee arthritis, opioids worked no better than over-the-counter drugs or other nonopioids at reducing problems with walking or sleeping. And they provided slightly less pain relief.

Opioids tested included morphine, oxycodone or fentanyl patches although few patients needed the most potent doses. Nonopioids included generic Tylenol, ibuprofen and prescription pills for nerve or muscle pain.

The study randomly assigned patients to take opioids or other painkillers. That’s the gold standard design for research.

The results echo less rigorous studies and bolster guidelines against routine use of opioids for chronic pain.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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