About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

High-dose Opioids Improves Mental and Physiologic Function

by Bidita Debnath on April 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM
Font : A-A+

 High-dose Opioids Improves Mental and Physiologic Function

New research shows that half of patients on high-dose, long-term opioid therapy had hormonal disturbances or signs of inflammation, while 100 percent reported improved pain control and mental outlook.

The results, reported today at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, present rare data on the effects of opioids beyond 10 years. Most clinical trials that examine opioid use are of short duration, and little is known about long-term outcomes, particularly in patients who suffer from noncancer pain.

Advertisement

The 40 patients included in the study were evaluated between July and October 2012. Each had been taking a high dose of opioid therapy, defined as more than 100 mg equivalence of morphine a day, for 10 or more years. Each complained of constant, debilitating pain that was classified as intractable, which is defined in California as "incurable by any known means." They had tried many non-opioid methods to try to control their pain. Every patient in the study also suffered from severe insomnia.

The patients were tested for serum cortisol, pregnenolone, corticotropin (ACTH), testosterone, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). In addition, each patient took 2 written questionnaires. One measured improvements to 17 physiologic functions, including reading, hearing, concentration, memory, driving, sleep, movement, dressing and libido. The other questionnaire asked about depression, hopelessness and quality of life before and during opioid treatment.
Advertisement

All 40 patients reported improvements in depression, hopelessness and quality of life and sustained pain control that accompanied a stable opioid dosage. In addition, all patients reported improvements in at least 1 physiologic function. Categories in which at least 20 patients noted improvements were concentration (27 or 67.5 percent), walking (25 or 62.5 percent), appetite (20 or 50 percent) and movement (31 or 77.5 percent). Seventeen or 62.5 percent of patients reported improvements to sleeping.

Eight patients (20 percent) had hormonal suppression as follows: ACTH in 2 (5 percent), cortisol in 3 (7.5 percent), testosterone in 2 (5 percent) and pregnenolone in 4 (10 percent) of patients. Three patients (7.5 percent) had one or more serum elevations of a hormone as follows: ACTH in 1 (2.5 percent), cortisol in 2 (5 percent) and pregnenolone in 1 (2.5 percent). Nine patients (22.5 percent) had an elevated CRP or ESR.

"The high-dose opioid patients studied here greatly improved many physiologic functions and mental outlook," Forest Tennant, MD, PhD, study author and medical director of Veract Intractable Pain Clinic in West Covina, concluded, writing in a scientific poster. "Despite these improvements, 12 (30 percent) of patients had an elevated serum hormone level, an inflammatory marker, or both, suggesting the presence of an on-going painful, inflammatory process."

In addition, he wrote, the observed hormonal suppression was a significant complication.

Such findings are noteworthy as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and some states mull limits to opioid prescribing as a means to halt a rising tide of prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths. An FDA panel held a two-day public hearing in February to gather stakeholder testimony as it weighs labeling changes for opioid dosage, indication and treatment duration for noncancer pain.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cannabis Drug Abuse Painkiller Addiction Prescription Drug Abuse 

Recommended Reading
Pot-Based Drug To Combat Cancer
Health Canada has given the stamp of approval to a cannabis-derived drug to be used in the ......
Drug Threat in Asia: Amphetamines Replace Heroin, Opium
A United Nations report has warned synthetic drugs are replacing traditional plant-based narcotics ....
Opium and Hemlock Cocktail Killed Cleopatra, Not Snakebite
Cleopatra died from drinking a lethal drug cocktail that included opium and hemlock and .....
Opium Harvest in Afghanistan Drops by a Third
Opium production in Afghanistan has fallen by a third, says a report by the United Nations....
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or sub...
Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller addiction is the use of prescription painkillers in a way not meant by the prescribing do...
Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is consuming prescription medications in a way different from that as prescr...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use