WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Some potentially good news for folks taking opioids for chronic pain: It’s possible to slowly reduce the dosage without increasing discomfort, new research suggests.
That’s even true for people who’ve taken the drugs for a long time. One patient in the new study had used opioids for 38 years, the researchers said.
“For some people, long-term opioids are necessary, but it’s pretty well known that there has been a high rate of overprescribing of opioids for chronic pain, and there are tremendous health risks for opioids over the long-term,” said the study’s lead author, Beth Darnall.
“Patients have a lot of fear and concern around opioids. What’s been lacking is a way to reduce these drugs on an outpatient basis, and our study found a potentially viable solution,” said Darnell, a clinical professor at Stanford University.