Washington D.C. [USA], Feb 9 (ANI): A recent study has established that high dose intake of opioid is not effective in reducing pain.
The researchers' team from Central Arkansas and Minneapolis VA Health Care Systems and three universities have suggested after studying available data that patients who got their opioid dosage increased were not helped by the higher dosage as compared to those, who continued with earlier dosage.
The Veterans Affairs study looked at prescribing data of more than 50,000 VA patients taking opioids. The findings led the study authors to warn: "Clinicians should exercise extreme caution when embarking on a path of increasing opioid doses to manage non-cancer pain."
The results were published in the January 9 issue of the journal 'Pain'.
A companion study by the same team that appeared online on January 15, in addition, confirmed the increased risk of side effects from higher doses.
Lead author Dr Corey Hayes in a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences report said: "You don't see the benefit, but you do see the risk. Our overall message is when you're thinking about increasing the dose, you need to realize the risk it brings, too."
Opioid medications relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals in the brain and affect areas of the brain controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of pain stimuli. While opioids can help manage pain when taken correctly, they have a high risk of abuse and addiction.
Patients often receive increased doses of opioid medication because their pain may not be well-controlled on lower doses. People can also develop a tolerance to opioids over time, meaning a higher dose is needed to get the same effects. In these cases, prescribers must weigh the risks and rewards of escalating a patient's opioid dose.
Moreover, higher opioid doses can lead to a variety of side effects, such as constipation, dizziness, increased sensitivity to pain, and increased risk of substance use disorder. (ANI)