Optimizing treatment with opioids and beyond.
ABSTRACT Patients with both chronic pain and substance use disorders offer special challenges and opportunities. They represent a large number of patients with significant costs to themselves and society that translate into poor outcome. The challenges in defining addiction in patients with chronic pain, particularly in those treated with chronic opioid therapy, have distracted the healthcare community from designing effective treatment programs. Traditional treatment programs for chronic pain disorders or substance use disorders are incapable of addressing the issues of the patients' 'other' problem. Treatment devolves to prescribing opioid medications with the belief that both disorders will be treated at least in part, which is deemed better than receiving no treatment at all. Patients are actually concerned about the risks of this type of treatment, and even if it did offer significant benefits, physicians demonstrate a lack of knowledge and skill in administering opioids to these patients. The inadequate treatment of either chronic pain or addiction interferes with the treatment of the other condition and necessitates the design of new treatment paradigms. A new approach to patients with both chronic pain and addiction should start with an evaluation and formulation of these patients to determine the different domains that contribute to their disability (diseases, dimensions, behaviors, life stories). A comprehensive formulation provides the appropriate platform for the implementation of an integrated program of therapy for both conditions that can be intensified to provide more, rather than less, care for the patient that does not meet the goals of functional rehabilitation.
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ABSTRACT: Many patients with chronic noncancer pain present with comorbid depression, which can greatly complicate the treatment of pain. Chronic pain and depression each increase the risk of licit and illicit substance abuse, including the abuse of opioids, and of suicide. Patients attempting suicide may overdose on opioids, which are commonly perceived as potentially harmful, or acetaminophen, an agent that is believed to be safe but is actually the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. Opioids, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have the potential to interact with antidepressants, and their adverse effects may be exacerbated by alcohol use, which is also common in patients with depression. Topical NSAIDs, capsaicin, and lidocaine provide effective analgesia for several pain conditions. These agents limit systemic drug exposure, reducing the risk of systemic adverse events without risk of accidental or deliberate overdose. However, use of topical agents is generally limited to localized pain syndromes and therefore does not substantially eliminate the need for systemic analgesics in those patients with diffuse persistent pain, central sensitization, and opioid-responsive pain. This review will discuss the challenges associated with treating chronic pain in depressed patients and will provide recommendations for optimizing treatment.Postgraduate Medicine 09/2011; 123(5):143-54. DOI:10.3810/pgm.2011.09.2470 · 1.54 Impact Factor
Article: Update in Palliative Care - 2011[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION : The aim of this update is to summarize scientifically rigorous articles published in 2010 that serve to advance the field of palliative medicine and have an impact on clinical practice. METHOD: We conducted two separate literature searches for articles published between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. We reviewed title pages from the Annals of Internal Medicine, British Medical Journal, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, JGIM, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, PC-FACS (Fast Article Critical Summaries for Clinicians in Palliative Care). We also conducted a Medline search with the key words "palliative," "hospice," and "terminal" care. Each author presented approximately 20 abstracts to the group. All authors reviewed these abstracts, and when needed, full text publications. We focused on articles relevant to general internists. We rated the articles individually, eliminating by consensus those that were not deemed of highest priority, and discussed the final choices as a group. RESULTS: We first identified 126 articles with potential relevance. We presented 20 at the annual SGIM update session, and discuss 11 in this paper.Journal of General Internal Medicine 11/2011; 27(5):582-7. DOI:10.1007/s11606-011-1929-9 · 3.42 Impact Factor