Opioids no better than over-the-counter painkillers

New study shows opioids are no better than over-the-counter pain medication in emergency room setting.

A fascinating article was published by Vox challenging big assumptions about acute pain treatment in emergency room settings. The article looked at a new study from researchers at Albany Medical College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. It compared opioids to over-the-counter painkillers and found little difference for acute pain management.

This study is helpful because it shows patients that opioids are not always needed. Ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be used to successful control pain in the emergency room setting. Doctors will also feel less pressure to prescribe opioids.

The lead author of the study also noted that opioids have a place in pain management. He warns the opioid epidemic might swing the podium too far and arbitrary restrictions could prevent patients from getting needed drugs.

Workers’ Compensation Law

Michigan prohibits reimbursement for opioids beyond 90 days unless specific procedures are met. This includes detailed physician reporting including periodic urine screening, written treatment plan, and conscientious effort to reduce pain through alternative means.

Statistics show a 37% drop in opioid prescriptions between 2009 and 2015. State regulators attribute this decrease in part to new administrative rules that were approved in 2014. Michigan also has some of the lowest medical costs in the Midwest. Lower prescription rates for opioids is certainly a factor.

We also worry that regulations could go too far. Doctors must be free to treat patients as individuals using their professional experience and judgment.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Battle against opioid epidemic takes shape

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by .v1ctor Casale..

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