Opioids Might Worsen Chronic Pain

Opioids Might Worsen Chronic PainOpioids Might Worsen Chronic Pain

A new study has questioned the benefits of opioid painkillers, after finding the drugs might worsen chronic pain rather than ease it.

Study co-leader Prof. Peter Grace, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and colleagues recently published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Previous studies have suggested opioids - such as codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl - are effective pain relievers. They bind to proteins in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract called opioid receptors, reducing pain perception, reported. Increasing use and abuse of opioids, however, has become a major public health concern; opioid overdoses are responsible for 78 deaths in the US every day. Grace and colleagues have questioned whether opioids really work for pain relief, after finding the opioid morphine worsened chronic pain in rats.