Opioids Less Potent For Pain Patients With Psychiatric Disorders

Opioids Less Potent For Pain Patients With Psychiatric Disorders

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  • According to a study published in Anesthesiology and Pharmacy Times, opioids provide less pain relief for those suffering from high levels of depression and anxiety.
  • The study analyzed the pain levels of individuals taking oral morphine, oxycodone, or a placebo over a 6-month period.
  • The pain management physicians at American Spine explain the importance of providing interventional pain treatment to patients less receptive to opioids.

Approximately 55 patients with chronic low back pain and low, moderate or high levels of depression or anxiety participated in this study. From the results, researchers were able to identify patient that exhibited high levels of depression and anxiety were less likely to receive pain relief from opioid pain medication, and more likely to develop treatment-related side effects.

Patients who participated in the study were instructed to take oral morphine, oxycodone or a placebo during a 6-month period whenever needed. These patient participants were also told to record their daily pain levels and drug doses in an electronic diary. Some of the results from this study can be seen below:

  • Patients with low levels of depression and anxiety saw a 39% improvement in pain.
  • Patients with high levels of psychiatric comorbidity saw a 21% improvement in pain.
  • High-level patients had higher rates of opioid abuse and treatment-related side effects.

These study results demonstrate the importance of patients and physicians not solely relying on the use of prescription pain medication for pain relief, especially if there is a risk of medication misuse or abuse. At American Spine, we provide alternative pain-relieving treatment options, like steroid injections, PRP injections, stem cell therapy, radiofrequency ablation and minimally invasive surgery to ensure patient satisfaction and quality of life.

Opioids, although effective, can come with risks. The team at American Spine works diligently to minimize these risks and develop treatment plans that are right for the patient. Moreover, the pain management physicians at ASPMG encourage patients to seek behavioral health treatment for symptoms of depression and anxiety.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.