Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics Help to Manage Osteoarthritis Pain

Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics Help to Manage Osteoarthritis Pain

ER Opioid Analgesics Can Become a Solution for Some Patients

Osteoarthritis Pain Treatment Should Be Properly Selected

A report from 2008 American Journal of Therapeutics suggests that osteoarthritis pain seriously affects the patient’s life and causes a bunch of difficulties for him:

  • Inability to live life on its full potential
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Passive social life
  • Nervousness and agitation
  • Limited physical activities
  • Decreased cognitive function (thinking, memory)

Sleep disturbance caused by pain is a very common issue for osteoarthritis patients. Very often people who have osteoarthritis cannot sleep well, because it might be hard for them to fall asleep or, on the contrary, they might wake up to early. In order to manage these problems, a patient should take effective and extended-release painkiller.

In most of the cases, osteoarthritis patients get some medications, but very often they find them not to be effective enough for managing pain. Statistics showed that of more than 3,100 interviewed osteoarthritis patients, 25% said their pain medication does not help them.

Taking Medication on Schedule Can Help

If you have a chronic pain, you may find it effective to take painkillers every day at the same time. By doing so, you will take the next pill before the previous dose gets out. But, many patients they do not follow the schedule for taking the drug due to different reasons, so the pain comes back again.

Long-acting formulations can be suitable for those osteoarthritis patients who cannot follow the recommend schedule.

Different Types of Analgesics

The first type of analgesics that doctors prescribe to osteoarthritis patients with mild pain is acetaminophen. For patients who require stronger pain medication doctors prescribe other types of analgesics: NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and COX-2 inhibitors. And lastly, if you have severe pain, prescribing doctor can consider using opioid analgesics such as tramadol and other controlled substances from this group of medications.

What Is the Right Pain Medication For You?

Your pain medication should not cause unmanageable adverse reactions and should be effective in managing your pain. Likewise, it should provide continual pain relief. Could long-acting opioid analgesics be the best solution? Yes, for some cases. However, patients taking this type of medication need to pay attention to possible side effects that may occur and must take the medication only as directed.

Long-Acting Analgesics Can Be a Solution If Used Properly

Extended release opioid analgesics that can relieve osteoarthritis pain include: ER transdermal fentanyl, ER oxymorphone, ER morphine, CR (controlled release) oxycodone and ER tramadol.

Some studies have shown that if acetaminophen and NSAID do not help the patient to manage osteoarthritis pain, ER tramadol can be effective before trying schedules, opioid analgesics.

Also ER tramadol has more benefits compared with other long-acting opioid painkillers. The probability of experiencing side effects is less common with tramadol than with other opioids. Opioid analgesics can be addictive; therefore a patient can experience withdrawal symptoms if discontinuing the drug without doctor’s approval. Drug abuse is common for opioids too. Opioid analgesics (including ER opioid analgesics) can cause problems with sedation, confusion, and constipation, especially in older patients.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking ER opioids. Long-acting opioid analgesics may not be appropriate for some patients because of certain reasons and contraindications.

There are scheduled ER opioid painkillers: oxymorphone, oxycodone, morphine and fentanyl.

ER morphine is prescribed to treat different types of chronic osteoarthritis pain. Taking this medication on schedule provides 24/7 pain relief and helps to deal with related problems.

According to the feedback from interviewed patients, ER oxymorphone is very effective in managing osteoarthritis pain. It also has provided some functional improvements in osteoarthritis patients.

CR oxycodone helps to improve the quality of life and reduce osteoarthritis pain. But, some patients have reported drug abuse related to this medication.

You should take ER transdermal fentanyl only in the case you already take other opioid drugs and you had opioid tolerance. It can help to relieve moderate to severe osteoarthritis pain.

You should not live with relentless pain. Talk to your doctor about appropriate pain medication for your case and ask about ER versions of opioid analgesics.

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