Harvard Men's Health Watch

Opioid drugs may not help with long-term low back pain

In the Journals Opioid painkillers are commonly prescribed for chronic low back pain. However, a review of 20 trials published online May 23, 2016, by JAMA Internal Medicine found the drugs offer only modest, short-term relief. Thirteen placebo-controlled trials examined 3,419 people who used opioids, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and tramadol (Ultram), to manage low back pain. The subjects rated pain on a scale of zero to 100 using a questionnaire. A difference…

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