Mainstream call for stronger drugs or a different approach to pain management
New guide lines from health watch dog stating that patients with advanced cancer and other debilitating conditions are being "under-treated" for their pain.
NICE wants doctors in England and Wales to make more use of morphine and other strong opioids - the only adequate pain relief source for many patients. While tolerance levels can increase to the strength of the opiods there are other complications and side effects that align with this type of frequent pain management, such as constipation, liver & kidney toxicity.
Within some Pain management support groups funded by the NHS other treatments or therapies are taught to patients to aid in pain control such as EFT ( Emotional Freedom Technique) which allows the patient to tap on certain acupuncture points to reduce pain. Other treatments include access to hypnotherapy and acupuncture which are proven to aid in pain management.
So how do we manage pain?
Many people visiting the doctor for pain relief will be prescribed drugs for the treatment of their pain and these could be in the form of Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs: some of the side effects of these drugs are, gastritis, worsening of asthma and kidney damage.
Opioids: these are effective pain killers for all types of pain including neuropathic pain. Morphine is the original drug of this class; the others include codeine, propoxyphene and fentanyl. Some of the side effects of these drugs include addiction, respiratory depression and constipation.
Steroids: these are very potent anti inflammatory drugs and they have a wide use in medicine for both anti inflammatory and pain relieving effects. Most commonly taken by mouth for the relief of arthritis. And can be administered by injection along with local anaesthetics in arthritic joints and in the spinal canal to relieve back pain. In high doses given for more than a few days they can have various effects including diabetes, osteoporosis and other damage to the bones like avascular necrosis to the femoral head. So looking at what is on offer in the drug field, the side effects can sometimes be worse than the ailment being treated and that’s just three items. What of the over counter drugs we purchase?
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