Opioids

6%

Improve with treatment

40%

Improve with control

54%

Do not Improve

What does improve mean?

An example of a 30% reduction in pain scores is a decrease from 6 to 4 on a 10 point pain scale

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

How many people will improve?

46%

Improvement by treatment or placebo

54%

No Improvement

Opioids Harms

Withdrawals due to Adverse Events (Any Opioid)
25.9%
7% (placebo)
Nausea
25.9%
8.2% (placebo)
Constipation
16.2%
5.3% (placebo)
Dizziness
15.1%
5.6% (placebo)
Drowsiness
15%
4.2% (placebo)
Headache
8.6%
7.8% (placebo)

Other Considerations

  • Last option due to risk of dependence, side-effects, and long-term serious harms
  • If absolutely needed, doses should be kept ≤ 90 mg/day of morphine equivalents
  • Should be used short-term
  • Side effects are more common in older patients and may lead to falls
  • Approximate cost (CAD) depends on opioid used, 30-day supply: $20+

Looking for further details?

Osteoarthritis Pain

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