New Pain Drug Alternative To Oxycodone
July 23, 2010 — An extended-release form of the medication tapentadol has lower amount of gastrointestinal side effects than oxycodone when taken orally for pain relief in pain clinic patients with chronic low back pain, in a new study results.
The current form of painkiller, called tapentadol ER, provides a new alternative for chronic pain clinic patients if approved by the FDA.
Researchers studied the safety and tolerability of the drug in pain clinic patients with chronic knee or osteoarthritis, compared to patients taking the better known and older oxycodone CR.
The amount of gastrointestinal side effects including constipation, nausea, or vomiting leading to discontinuation in the study was 2.5 times greater in pain clinic patients taking oxycodone than subjects taking tapentadol ER.
Tapentadol ER provided sustained relief of moderate to severe chronic knee or hip osteoarthritis pain or chronic back pain clinic patients for up to a year.
“These study results illustrate the tolerability of tapentadol ER compared with oxycodone CR, a standard chronic pain medication,” Brian Moster, MD, wrote, “We are about the encouraged by the distinct possibility of bringing this compound forward to pain patients in the future.”
Comparing Pain Clinic Side Effects
The main reason for the study was to determine the safety of oral tapentadol ER in strengths of 250 milligrams two times a daily over a one-year period and comparing it to oxycodone CR.
The study showed 894 clinic patients took tapentadol ER and 223 oxycodone. The overall incidence of patients having at least one adverse gastrointestinal event was 85.7% in the tapentadol ER group, compared to 90.6% in those taking oxycodone CR.
Understanding Pain Management
Living with pain can be a lonely, frustrating and depressing experience. Add to that inadequate patient education and ineffective treatments and many sufferers become hopeless and distraught. A pain clinic with highly experienced pain doctors using various treatment and medication modalities can dramatically improve the quality of life of these patients.
Pain medication and a straightforward treatment course works well for most patients with acute pain which has a limited time period of severity. Long-term chronic pain a variety of pain management strategies may need to be tried, often including psychological treatment. These sufferers may also self-medicate with alcohol which may
seem to ease the pain for a while but will ultimately only make the suffering increase with its high potential for addiction and increase in existing depression.
Clinic doctors work closely with your primary care physician to develop individualized treatment plans and prescribe pain medication. They include anesthesiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, and orthopedic surgeons. Practitioners who report to the doctors in the pain clinic are physical or rehabilitation therapists, orthopedists, chiropractors, massage therapists and more, depending on the breadth of services offered.
Fibromyalgia Pain Management
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects 5 million Americans. The majority of them are women. It is as debilitating as having heart disease, yet it is invisible to doctors, family and friends, but not to those that suffer daily from it. They know that it’s real. Fibromyalgia was an illness that gets no respect; many doctors believed it was all in the heads of their patients.
Fortunately, nowadays more and more doctors are realizing that it is a legitimate disorder. Diagnosis is made primarily by a patient’s complaints, feelings and having widespread pain for at least 3 months. Tests are done to rule out other diseases.
the main symptom experienced is pain. A person with this illness will have muscle aches and tender points on the back of their head, shoulders, hip area, and inside knees that are painfully sensitive to touch. There are 18 tender points that doctors use as a criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. If you experience pain with 11 out of the 18, it warrants a positive diagnosis.
It’s an affliction that impacts the muscles, joints and tendons causing widespread pain and stiffness.
Chronic Fatigue, migraines, brain fog, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, bladder control problems, Restless Leg Syndrome, depression and anxiety are other problems that can arise when suffering from fibromyalgia.
Causes of Fibromyalgia
Scientists don’t know the causes. Some believe that there may be a genetic predisposition to having this condition. Your chances of having the disorder increase if there are other family members suffering from it.
Fibromyalgia can sometimes be triggered by some emotional trauma or physical event such as pregnancy or a virus.
It mainly shows up in early to mid adult life. If you have other autoimmune diseases like lupus, you increase your risk of getting it.
Pain Doctors believe that fibromyalgia patients have abnormally extreme hypersensitivity to pain. It is thought that there are chemical and hormonal imbalances that cause changes to nerve and brain cells which in turn are responsible for the pain response.
Pain killers like Tylenol and Advil have been used but are not really effective, especially by themselves.
Anti- epileptic drugs have been used and have reduced pain, fatigue and sleeplessness in some people. Recently Lyrica, a nerve pain treatment for diabetes, was approved for use in the treatment of fibromyalgia.
It’s difficult to be around people that do not understand what you have been going through. No one takes you seriously or believes that you are in as much pain as you say. Management Counseling and support groups may help cope with the isolation, anxiety and depression of having a chronic debilitating condition. It’s very helpful to share your problem with others that have had similar experiences.
Physical therapy can help reduce some of the pain. By doing stretching, stress reduction, posture exercises and hydrotherapy, you may be able to find some relief.
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder and certain foods are known to affect people in a negative way. Foods that are suspect in contributing to the illness are dairy, caffeine, gluten, yeast, nightshade, MSG, fructose, and aspartame. Avoidance of some or all of these foods may improve symptoms.
Acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal supplements (be careful of interactions with other drugs) may be helpful. Although studies are lacking for some of them, there is anecdotal evidence that these methods have helped people. Working with a chiropractor may be beneficial in that they can adjust painful joints and do body realignment which has relieved pain in many people suffering from this disorder.
Once an illness that used to get no respect, fibromyalgia is finally getting the recognition it deserves and perhaps the research needed to find a cure.