Home > Opioids becoming more popular with European patients suffering from rheumatic diseases

Opioids becoming more popular with European patients suffering from rheumatic diseases

Results reveal that opioids are increasingly popular in treating pain connected with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. Experts have indicated that measures need to be taken to ensure the safe and sensible use of these analgesics.

Data from several European countries provide evidence that opioid use is increasing among patients with rheumatic/musculoskeletal disease. In Spain, the consumption of opioids in patients with osteoarthritis increased from 15% in 2007 to 25% in 2016 [1]. German data demonstrated that approximately 70% of opioids are prescribed for patients with chronic, non-tumour associated pains, like osteoarthritis. When used for chronic osteoarthritis pains, a 4- to 12-week course of therapy is indicated; this has proven to be effective and safe. Their use should be discontinued after this period, due to the strong side effect profile of these agents [2]. However, it is mostly the physical withdrawal that poses the biggest obstacle for p...



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