Friday, August 11, 2017

Be Careful With Prescribed Opioid Dosing

By Edward Sanders

The largest problems related to strong painkillers are their misuse and abuse, and this often include overdosing. Lately, it's strongly recommended to reduce prescribing higher doses in general, because of really high probabilities for addiction development, as for accidental overdosing. Here are some worries related to prescribed opioid dosing.

The whole purpose of taking opioids is to manage the pain. Nevertheless, the accurate diagnosis is something that should be set first, because it is really important to identify the underlying causes before prescribing the appropriate treatment. This might be difficult in some cases, but, without it, there is a possibility for prescribing inaccurate doses.

Chronic pains might also have different underlying causes. Prescribed doses might not meet patient's unrealistic expectations regarding their effect. Patients often expect greater pain reduction, and they might try using higher doses than those that were prescribed to them, just to achieve greater pain relief. This might be very dangerous, and their physician should inform them about these issues when prescribing those drugs in the first place.

Opioids are often used for reducing acute pain, in prescribed doses and in short term. For treating acute and sub-acute pains, in controlled conditions, these strong pain killers are really useful. The problem is when you use them for treating chronic pain, in longer periods of time. In such cases, this prolonged therapy may result with various unwanted consequences, including addiction, overdosing, different health issues etc. In such cases it might be appropriate to use alternative therapies.

Intensive muscle and joint pains, especially back sprain, are good example for prescribing such painkillers. They should be accompanied with appropriate medical treatments as well, because their purpose is only to ease the pain, and they cannot cure any medical condition. At first, prescribed dose might be enough to reduce the pain, but the effect of the drug might be reduced over time, especially if it is used regularly.

While various strong painkillers can really provide significant pain relief in the short term, a decrease of analgesic effect with the same dose over time is certainly something that can be expected. The development of tolerance is inevitable in some cases. When this problem is solved by ongoing dose escalation, it might lead to serious outcomes, and this includes addiction and possible fatal overdoses.

Needless to say, there is no opioid dose that could be considered as completely without risks involved. Different conditions may affect the process of prescribing the appropriate dose for any strong painkiller. All physicians should take all these conditions into consideration when calculating this appropriate dose. After taking these medications for longer periods of time, further assessments are needed. Prescribed doses should never be changed without medical assistance.

Opioids are in fact really strong painkillers, and can be used for reducing pain in various medical conditions. Even so, when there is a chance these painkillers will be used for longer periods of time, it is advisable to find alternatives. Their sole purpose is reducing the pain, they cannot cure your illness, they can only make your life easier for a while. Misuse can endanger your life.

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