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To John

Posted by Kathy G on 3/26/03 at 11:30 (114671)

You mentioned on the treatment board that you would post an article on pain from the Mayo Clinic Journal. I guess that's actually the board on which it should be posted but I'm just asking that you post it at your convenience. It sounds very interesting.

Thanks from the one good Democrat;)

Re: To John

Kathy G on 3/26/03 at 11:31 (114672)

Man, that sounded like an order or something. If it's convenient would you please post the article? Sorry about that!!

Re: To John

john h on 3/26/03 at 16:02 (114702)

Kathy: I just got home so here is the article from the Mayo Clinc Health Letter dated April 2003:

'According to a recent Mayo Clinic report, some people with chronic low back pain may obtain substantial ongoing relief from strong pain medicines in the opioid class. these drugs are available only by prescription and include morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl.

The report, in September 2002 issue of Pain Medicine, summarizes 13 studies involving people with chronic low back pain who used opoids on an ongoing basis. For some people, opoids provided substantial pain relief and the ability to work and function more normally. The most common side effects were nausea, constipation, and drowsiness. The studies that lasted 12 months or longer showed only a small numer of people--between 1 percent and 10 percent developed drug abuse or withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors have been reluctant to prescribe opoids except in people with cancer because of fears of physical dependence and addiction. Being physically dependent isn't the same as being addicted or having addictive behaviors, such as seeking out the drug and a need for stronger doses. Physical dependence means that abruptly stopping the drug will result in symptoms of withdrawal. For those who are physically dependent, it's possible to taper off the drug over an extended period of time under close medical supervision to avoid this withdrawal and to end the body's dependence on the drug.

For people who haven't had addiction problems in the past, fears of physical dependence shouldn't limit their consideration of use of this class of medication under their doctor's care, if it could substantially improve their quality of life.

Mayo Clinic experts say opioids are effective pain relievers, especially in carefully selected people whose chronic pain hasn't responded well to other, non-opioid treatments. However, in people who have a history of addictive behavior or drug abuse, these risk may outweigh the potential benefits.'

This article would apply not just to back pain Kathy. I think some of our people have taken Oxycodone but I am not sure what fentanyl is.