Illicit opioid use following changes in opioids prescribed for chronic non-cancer pain. PLOS ONE. May 4, 2020.
Here’s a finally a study showing the potentially hazardous actions taken by pain patients when their pain relief is cut off. I’m surprised they found the same thing with increasing the dose – if anyone can think of an explanation, please let me know.
In a retrospective study of more than 600 patients in San Francisco receiving opioid pain relievers (OPR) for chronic, non-cancer pain, the researchers found that
- “[l]oss of access to prescribed OPRs was associated with more frequent use of non-prescribed opioids and heroin, and
- increased OPR dose was associated with more frequent heroin use.
In addition to being cautious with increasing OPR dose, care providers should consider the potential unintended consequences of stopping OPR therapy when developing opioid prescribing guidelines and managing practice.”