Chronic Pain: Managing Without Opioids

February 26, 2018 3:00PM

Treatment of chronic pain requires'multimodal analgesia,' a management plan that often requires pharmacological as well as nondrug therapies, and very importantly large measures of clinician guided patient self-management. Chronic pain management should rarely, if ever, be opioid mono-therapy. Understanding the clinical role and value of non-opioids, the so called'adjuvant' drugs, improves outcomes and reduces over-reliance on opioids and their demonstrated risks. The conflation of chronic pain management with the prescription of opioids, often at high dose, has for the past 20 years overlooked long-established core tenets of multidisciplinary chronic pain care that is fundamentally about restoring function and enabling behavioral re-training; these are best and more safely accomplished without opioids and other central nervous system depressants. Chronic pain is not a state of opioid deficiency.

 

You will learn:

 

 

  • Describe why chronic pain pharmacological treatment should not be opioid mono-therapy.
  • Defend the role and value of non-drug options for management of chronic pain.
  • Discuss the clinical value and potential side-effects of commonly used'adjuvant' drugs in the management of chronic pain, including anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
  • Understand why, when, and how alternatives to opioids improve outcomes of your pain management plan
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