Antidepressants Mostly Ineffective, ‘Lackluster’ for Chronic Pain

Most antidepressants are not effective for treating pain conditions, new research suggests. In an overview of 26 systematic reviews, and more than 25,000 adult participants, investigators found that when evidence did show that antidepressants were effective for pain, it was not high quality — and most comparisons with placebo had inconclusive evidence. The results highlight … Read more

Chronic Pain Patients Swapping Opioids for Medical Cannabis

Almost one third of patients with chronic pain report using medical cannabis to manage that pain, with more than half of them decreasing use of other pain medications, including opioids, new research shows. “That patients report substituting cannabis for pain medicines so much really underscores the need for research on the benefits and risks of … Read more

Screen All Patients for Cannabis Use Before Surgery: Guideline

If you smoke, vape, or ingest cannabis, your anesthesiologist should know before you undergo a surgical procedure, according to new medical guidelines. All patients who undergo procedures that require regional or general anesthesia should be asked if, how often, and in what forms they use the drug, according to recommendations from the American Society of … Read more

Placebo Effect a Major Driver of Pain Reduction in Cannabis Trials

A strong placebo response may be largely responsible for the significant pain reduction observed in clinical trials of cannabis-based therapies, results of a new meta-analysis suggest. Investigators found that while the effect of cannabinoids on pain intensity was significant, the placebo effect was about the same. “The data from the present meta-analysis, including 1,459 patients … Read more

Chronic Pain Tied to Poor Health, Increased COVID Risk

Individuals who have chronic pain at age 44 are more likely to report poor general health, poor mental health, and joblessness when they are in their 50s and 60s, new research shows. Chronic pain at age 44 (in 2002) was also predictive of SARS-CoV-2 infection nearly two decades later, in 2021. “We speculate that pain … Read more

New CDC Guidance on Prescribing Opioids for Pain

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated and expanded recommendations for prescribing opioids for adults with acute and chronic pain not related to cancer, sickle cell disease, or palliative/end-of-life care. The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline provides guidance on determining whether to initiate opioids for pain; selecting opioids and determining opioid … Read more

Is Medical Cannabis the Answer to the Opioid Crisis?

Medical cannabis may be an important alternative to opioids for pain management, new research suggests. In a large survey, patients with a variety of ailments, including pain and mental health problems, reported less pain and better functioning, after using medical cannabis — and most were able to stop or cut back on their opioid use. … Read more

Cannabis for Pain Linked to Slight Risk for Arrhythmia

Patients who received a first prescription for medicinal cannabis for chronic pain were more likely to have new onset of arrhythmia — bradyarrhythmia, tachyarrhythmia, or a conduction disorder — within 6 months than were similar nonusers, in a new case-control study. There were no between-group differences in the incidence of heart failure or acute coronary … Read more

Stable, Long-term Opioid Therapy Safer Than Tapering?

Discontinuing Stable, Long-TERM OPIOIID Therapy May Not BE NECESAY FOR PATIENTS who show no Signs of Misuse ― and IT COUL Even Be Safer Than Tapering Or Aburt Discontinism, New Research Suggests. Investigators Analyzed Data for Almost 200,000 Patients who did not have signs of OPIOOID USE DISEORDER (Oud) and Were Receiving Opioid Treatment. The … Read more

Antidepressants May Curb Opioid Overdose

Patients with a history of depression who are also being treated with opioid analgesics have a lower risk for overdose and self-harm after taking antidepressants, new research suggests. Investigators analyzed insurance claims for more than 200,000 adults with a history of depression. Of these, 8200 experienced adverse events (AEs) during the year after initiation of … Read more