Too many prescriptions of opioids

Too many prescriptions of opioids / Health News

Osteoarthritis and back pain are too often prescribed to opioids


Osteoarthritis and back pain are treated too often with opioids such as morphine, explained the head of pain medicine at the University Hospital Bergmannsheil Bochum, Professor Christoph Maier, in an interview with the „pharmacy magazine“. By administering the strong painkillers, those affected may even be in danger of worsening their condition.

Today doctors prescribe around twice as many opioids for pain as they did 10 years ago, reports the pain specialist. Although there was indeed a pent-up demand, especially in cancer patients, but they benefit from the increased use of opioids hardly. The increase is rather due to the increasing use of painkillers in the treatment of back and arthritis pain. For Professor Maier an occasion for strong criticism of the prescription practice of the opioids. Because „in extreme cases, the opioids even aggravate the pain and lead to dependence“, explained Maier. To make sure that your own doctor has the necessary experience for the treatment of pain, patients should choose the additional name when choosing a doctor „special pain therapy“ The expert reports that only specialists are allowed to lead after 12 months of further training. The term pain therapist, however, is not protected.

Controversial use of painkillers
The treatment of pain with painkillers is generally controversial, as these are often used very lightly and threaten significant side effects. This applies to both over-the-counter and prescription painkillers. The often used self-therapy of complaints such as headaches or body aches with over-the-counter remedies is particularly critical here. Not only because there are serious side effects and dosing errors, but also because there is no medical diagnosis of the pain, so serious illnesses may go undetected as the cause of the condition.

Gerhard Müller-Schwefel, President of the German Association for Pain Therapy, has repeatedly pointed out the risks of over-the-counter painkillers in the past and has made it clear that all these drugs interfere with enzyme systems that the body uses for numerous regulatory mechanisms, such as needs the salt and fluid balance of the kidney. According to the expert, instead of the remedies, alternative forms of treatment from natural medicine can significantly reduce the pain. A cold pad or peppermint oil on the temples can help against general headaches, relaxation methods and acupuncture can be used to combat tension-type headache, bio-feedback procedures and lots of exercise promise migraine relief. (Fp)

Image: Sara Hegewald