JAMA study: Opioids are not better than non-opioids for chronic pain

Handful of pills, Photo Date: 8/6/2016 (Photo: Pixabay)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A recent study on fighting pain has some surprising results when it comes to painkillers.

The Journal of the American Medical Association released the study on Tuesday.

Researchers looked at those who suffered from intense pain and those with chronic pain.

The conclusion: Opioids are not better for chronic pain relief compared to medications for chronic pain that are not opioids.

Specialists at the Cleveland Clinic that review the research say this shows using other over the counter pain killers may be just as effective for some people.

The study examined 240 patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain.

One group of patients were given opioid pain medications and the other group were given non-opioid pain medications to relieve their pain.

Both groups were assessed based on how much their pain interfered with daily activities such as walking, work or sleep.

Researchers found that after twelve months of treatment, the group of patients who took the opioid pain medication were not functioning any better than the folks who treated their pain with the non-opioid pain relievers.

In addition to not having better pain relief, the people who took the opioids reported suffering from more medication-related symptoms.

These can include constipation, slowed breathing, and the possibility of addiction.