The author of the paper, Gary Franklin, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, said that if daily dosing exceeds 80 to 120 mg/d of a morphine-equivalent dose, consultation with a pain management specialist is recommended.
Franklin is known for bringing to light a sharp increase in opioid overdose deaths in his tenure at Washington state’s workers’ compensation program, which many say sparked the nation’s awareness of a rising prescription opioid epidemic.
His paper notes that there have been more than 100,000 opioid-related deaths since the late 1990s, acknowledging what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies have dubbed an epidemic of opioid abuse.
In a review of the literature, Franklin notes that there’s little evidence for use of opioid therapy for longer than 16 weeks, and studies have shown that they are not effective for migraine, other types of headache, or generalized pain.
“It seems likely that, in the long run, the use of opioids chronically for most routine conditions, such as chronic low back pain, chronic headaches, or fibromyalgia, will not prove to be worth the risk,” Franklin wrote in the paper.
“It seems likely?”
It looks to me that it is obvious that these drugs are useless if not absolutely harmful in treating these conditions. Any thoughts?
Dr. George Ellwanger practices in Apex, NC and has been a board certified Atlas Orthogonist since 1994.