Groundbreaking Study Shows Prescription Painkillers Prolong Chronic Pain
A University of Colorado research team recently discovered prescription opioids may actually make chronic pain worse by prolonging the underlying pain-causing conditions.
This may help explain why opioid prescriptions such as methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone have quadrupled since 1999.
Pain after disease/damage of the nervous system is predominantly treated with opioids, but without exploration of the long-term consequences. We demonstrate that a short course of morphine after nerve injury doubles the duration of neuropathic pain. (Source)
Prescription Painkillers are Killers
Few people, if any, would argue that prescription painkillers aren't dangerous, as they've claimed nearly 200,000 deaths in the last 15 years. Vioxx, alone, for instance, killed more than 60,000 before being pulled from the market in 2004 - after Merck made $2.5 billion off it's sales in just the year previous.
“There’s an ongoing death rate from use of pain medications as prescribed. So, even as prescribed, they’re highly dangerous and they are open to abuse.” ~ Dr. Margaret Gedde, owner and founder the Clinicians’ Institute of Cannabis Medicine (Source)
Misuse, abuse, and addiction are also widespread; in 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, and on an average day, a thousand people are treated in emergency rooms for opioid-related misuse.
Based on the recent research, it seems prescription painkillers are more effective in creating repeat customers for Big Pharma than actually addressing chronic pain.
The Study: Painkillers Worsen Chronic Pain
The 2016 CU-Boulder study found opioid use actually prolongs, and consequently increases, chronic pain in lab rats. As such, the study concluded "prolonged pain is an unrealized and clinically concerning consequence of the abundant use of opioids in chronic pain.” (Source)
Scientists found that a five-day morphine treatment actually resulted in months of continued chronic pain, as the treatment triggered the release of pain signals from the rat's glial cells, which go on high alert when the body prepares to clear out infection-causing microorganisms.
During the study, the morphine treatment led to repeated sending of those signals to the glial cells, increasing the activity of those nerve cells, and resulting in intensified chronic pain for the next several months - and this was from a five-day treatment!
“We are showing for the first time that even a brief exposure to opioids can have long-term negative effects on pain. We found the treatment was contributing to the problem.” ~ Peter Grace, CU-Boulder Assistant Research Professor and Faculty Member in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience (Source)
“The implications for people taking opioids like morphine, oxycodone and methadone are great, since we show the short-term decision to take such opioids can have devastating consequences of making pain worse and longer lasting.” ~ Linda Watkins of CU-Boulder Professor (Source)
Though the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was on rats, it makes sense that humans might work the same way - and would explain the growing opioid addiction epidemic and cycles of prescription painkiller abuse.
If you enjoyed this article or learned something new, please don't forget to share it with others so they have a chance to enjoy this free information. This article is open source and free to reblog or use if you give a direct link back to the original article URL. Thanks for taking the time to support an open source initiative. We believe all information should be free and available to everyone. Have a good day and we hope to see you soon!
Groundbreaking Study Shows Prescription Painkillers Prolong Chronic Pain Reviewed by matt on 18:26:00 Rating: