Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more

Can a Novel Med School Curriculum Curb the US Opioid Epidemic?

An opioid-centered curriculum for medical students improves awareness of pain management and treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and may help mitigate the current opioid crisis in the US, new research suggests. “Our study showed that implementing training for medical students about opioid use disorder and its treatment improves knowledge and understanding of clinical principles … Read more

No More Autopilot Opioids After Cesarean Delivery

A group of clinicians is hoping to prompt a rethink of how opioids are prescribed to new mothers after cesarean deliveries after finding that sending patients home with smaller prescriptions led to dramatic drops in use of the drugs. In research scheduled to be presented Saturday at the 2022 annual meeting of the American College … Read more

The Problematic Use of Tramadol Is Increasing in France

This article was originally published in French on Univadis. Key Takeaways According to French addiction surveillance data compiled from 2013 through 2018, the problematic use of tramadol is increasing in France, even though prescription levels remain stable. The rate of dependence among patients treated for pain seems high, and tramadol could become the opioid analgesic … Read more

Top Drug Official Wants New Approach to Abuse Crisis

When a chemical spill left 300,000 West Virginians in need of clean drinking water and a public official they could trust, Rahul Gupta, MD, MPH, was there. When the March of Dimes needed a voice to fight legislation that threatened to gut healthcare for pregnant women, Gupta was front and center. Dr Rahul Gupta, MD … Read more

Will Physician Intent Matter in SCOTUS Pill Mill Cases?

Legal experts are divided on whether the US Supreme Court’s eventual decision on the cases of two physicians convicted for illegal opioid distribution will have precedent-setting implications for medicine. Attorneys for Xiulu Ruan, MD, and Shakeel Kahn, MD, both pain management specialists, argued — along with some medical organizations, business groups, and law professors, through … Read more

FDA, DEA Pushed to Make Gabapentin a Controlled Substance

In a bid to stop abuse and diversion of the anticonvulsant gabapentin, a watchdog group is petitioning federal regulators to make the drug a controlled substance. The nonprofit group Public Citizen has filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), arguing that medication’s risks additional safeguards. … Read more

Placebo Response in Neuropathic Pain Trials

The study covered in this summary was published in medRxiv.org as a preprint and has not yet been peer reviewed. Key Takeaways Both placebo and nocebo effects can greatly affect the interpretation of outcomes in randomized controlled trials of chronic neuropathic pain treatments. When trials are being designed and interpreted, these effects need to be … Read more