Opioid Alternatives for Pain Control: What Works, What Doesn’t

Apr 21, 2017

The CDC recommends non-opioid alternatives for chronic pain, but some alternatives are more effective than others and some can be harmful. In this slideshow, we review the evidence.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that physicians prescribe non-opioid alternatives for chronic pain, but some alternatives are more effective than others and some can be harmful. In this slideshow, we review the effectiveness and harms of nonpharmacologic and nonopioid pharmacologic treatments as described by the CDC in its 2016 opioid prescribing guidelines.See related coverage from Rheumatology Network:Best Practices in Prescribing Opioids for Chronic PainPrescribing opioids for chronic pain may be associated with some short-term efficacy, but there may be other alternatives physicians should consider.A Review of Central Pain in Rheumatic DiseasesDMARDs and surgery are unlikely to be effective as sole therapies when central pain vs. peripheral pain is suspected in lupus, RA and osteoarthritis.

References:

Kristine Phillips and Daniel J. Clauw. “Central pain mechanisms in the rheumatic diseases: Future directions,” Arthritis and Rheumatism. Published January 28, 2013. DOI: 0.1002/art.37739.

Deborah Dowell, Tamara Haegerich, Roger Chou. “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain-United States, 2016,” JAMA. Published April 19, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.1464

Yngvild Olsen. “The CDC Guideline on Opioid Prescribing,” JAMA. Published April 16, 2016. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.1910