In the News

  • Low pain intensity after opioid withdrawal as a first step of a comprehensive pain rehabilitation program predicts long-term nonuse of opioids in chronic noncancer pain.

    OBJECTIVES: In specialized pain clinics there is an increasing number of patients with severe chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) despite long-term opioid medication. Few clinical studies show short-term pain relief after opioid withdrawal (OW). We have evaluated the relation between pain intensity after OW and long-term opioid nonuse.

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  • When opioids fail in chronic pain management: the role for buprenorphine and hospitalization.

    Clinicians are increasingly being challenged by patients who are treated for chronic pain with high-dose opioids that can cause medical, social, and societal harm. These patients may best be improved by psychological approaches, adjuvant medications, and opioid reduction or removal, rather than ever-escalating dosing that has become common. Opioid reduction or removal can be a difficult process that, when done incorrectly, may cause patient dissatisfaction or severe discomfort. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, is slowly becoming recognized as an effective pain treatment, possessing a wide safety margin while offering the opportunity for stabilization of opioid dosing or even removal.

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  • High opioid dosage rapid detoxification of cancer patient in palliative care with the Raffaeli model.

    BACKGROUND: Chronic opioid administration can induce adverse drug-dependent events and tolerance and/or hyperalgesia development. Opioid rotation is the treatment option in this case; however, it can expose patients to long periods of ineffectiveness and/or development of withdrawal syndrome, overdose, or adverse events. To overcome this issue, a method of rapid detoxification from opioids has been developed.

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  • Associations between heat pain perception and opioid dose among patients with chronic pain undergoing opioid tapering.

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between morphine equivalent dose and heat pain (HP) perception in patients with chronic pain undergoing opioid tapering in the context of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program.

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  • Patients with problematic opioid use can be weaned from codeine without pain escalation.

    BACKGROUND: Brief treatments for chronic non-malignant pain patients with problematic opioid use are warranted. The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) whether it is possible to withdraw codeine use in such patients with a brief cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), (2) whether this could be done without pain escalation and reduction in quality of life and (3) to explore the effects of codeine reduction on neurocognitive functioning.

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  • A longitudinal study of the efficacy of a comprehensive pain rehabilitation program with opioidwithdrawal: comparison of treatment outcomes based on opioid use status at admission.

    Use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain is controversial and the efficacy of comprehensive pain rehabilitation programs (CPRPs) that incorporate opioid withdrawal requires further investigation. We test the hypothesis that patients with chronic pain and longstanding opioid use who undergo opioid withdrawal in the course of rehabilitative treatment will experience significant and sustained improvement in pain and functioning similar to patients who were not taking opioids. A longitudinal design study compared 373 consecutive patients admitted to the Mayo Clinic Pain Rehabilitation Center at admission, discharge and six-month posttreatment by opioid status at admission. Measures of pain severity, depression, psychosocial functioning, health status, and pain catastrophizing were used to assess between- and within-group differences.

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  • Effects of opioid prescription medication dependence and detoxification on pain perceptions and self-reports.

    The purpose of this work is to document whether prescription opioid medications used for pain enhanced or worsened pain syndromes from medical conditions in patients who received a diagnosis of prescription opioid dependence as determined by a diagnosis by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV criteria. Further, whether detoxification improved or worsened pain perceptions and self-reports in patients who chronically administered prescription opioid medications. Our study consisted of a retrospective sample of patients taken from the Addiction Treatment Unit at St Lawrence Hospital in Lansing, MI.

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  • Significant pain reduction in chronic pain patients after detoxification from high-dose opioids.

    Opioid tolerance is a well-established phenomenon that often occurs in patients taking opioids for the treatment of chronic pain. Typically, doctors need to periodically elevate patients' opioid doses in an attempt to manage their underlying pain conditions, resulting in escalating opioid levels with only moderate to negligible improvement in pain relief. Recently, opioid-induced hyperalgesia has been recognized as a potential form of central sensitization in which a patient's pain level increases in parallel with elevation of his or her opioid dose.

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  • Treatment outcome in a chronic pain rehabilitation program.

    One hundred patients were selected who had completed an outpatient rehabilitation program designed to teach competent coping with chronic pain. Data at follow-up periods averaging 21 months posttreatment indicated statistically significant decreases in subjective pain intensity and increases in activities of daily living with substantial reductions in use of medications for pain.

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  • The effects of detoxification, relaxation, and brief supportive therapy on chronic pain.

    Seven chronic pain patients (six with abdominal pain and one with headache pain) were detoxified from analgesic medications, taught relaxation techniques, and given an average of 3 supportive therapy sessions. The effects of these procedures at posttreatment and at 6 months follow-up were analyzed by means of self-report diaries of pain, mood, activity and medication usage. There was a significant reduction in pain from posthospital in 5 of 7 patients and a significant reduction in pain at 6-month follow-up for all patients. There was a significant reduction in medication use for all subjects. Mood ratings tended to improve when pain was reduced, and some patients reported increased activity levels. Detoxification combined with relaxation and supportive therapy appears to produce significant relief from pain for these 7 patients.

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