Year : 2013  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 291-295

Opioid therapy in non-cancer chronic pain patients: Trends and efficacy in different types of pain, patients age and gender

1 Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Yasin S AlMakadma
Security Forces Hospital, PO Box 3643, Riyadh 11481
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.115362

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Background: In both developing and developed countries, chronic pain remains a real issue and a true disease that affects up to 42% of the population in some areas. Opioids are widely used for the management of chronic pain with variations in prescribing practices, indications and observed efficacy. Aim: to analyze trends in opioids prescribing and patient response in chronic non-cancer pain conditions. Methods: Retrospective study of 1500 casenotes of patients suffering variable non-cancer chronic pain conditions. Detailed review of those cases who were managed using opioids. Statistical analysis using "SOFA" software set. Results: The prevalence of opioids prescribing in patients suffering this condition was thus around 35% (n=526). Women older than 50 years were more likely than men to have a chronic pain condition and to be given opioid therapy for 1 year or more. Opioid efficacy on neuropathic and mixed types of pain was found to be significant with relatively low rate of drop-out and limited side-effects that are not life threatening. Overall, patients stopped or changed their opioid medication due to inefficacy in only 12.7% of cases. Conclusions: The simple fact of having pain is itself a source of self-reported disability regardless of the actual physiological or pathological mechanism. Policy makers should be aware of the huge impact of chronic pain disease and of its serious effects on social and economical well-being. In developing countries, chronic pain could represent a real challenge for all parties. Multimodal management, including opioids, appears crucial for the approach of this disease.

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