GPs have told millions of people with chronic pain to scrap painkillers

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GPs have told millions of people with chronic pain to scrap painkillers


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Doctors have been urged to drop the use of pain relievers for millions of people with chronic pain, according to new guidelines.
Drugs such as paracetamol and ibuprofen should no longer be used for patients who have continued pain and unexplained pain, said the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice).

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Experts say people with chronic pain should no longer be given pain relieversCredit: Getty – Contributor

Nice stressed that patients should instead be prescribed exercise, acupuncture or antidepressants for their problems.

About 20 million Britons suffer from chronic pain – this is called pain that lasts more than three months or continues to recur for a period of three months.

Now Nice says giving people with chronic pain these pain relievers could be addictive and do more harm than good.

He said there was “little to no evidence” that treating pain with commonly used medications actually makes a difference.

Director of the Center for Guidelines in Nice, Dr Paul Chrisp said that for most patients it is unlikely that drug treatments for chronic pain, other than antidepressants, will be able to provide the balance they need. need between risks and benefits.

He said: “But people shouldn’t be worried that we are just asking them to stop taking their medication without giving them alternative, safer and more effective options.

“When making shared decisions about whether to quit, it is important that all issues associated with quitting are discussed and properly addressed. “

What are the side effects of paracetamol

The institute recommends antidepressants as a treatment because it says evidence shows that these drugs can improve quality of life.

This includes psychological distress, pain, and sleep.

He said antidepressants can help even if a diagnosis of depression has not been given.

Nice’s new guide only focuses on chronic pain – when the cause of the pain isn’t clear.

This is different from chronic secondary pain which is caused by underlying conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or endometriosis.

The Nice new guidelines come after Australian researchers urged doctors to stop prescribing paracetamol to people with back pain such as back pain.

Experts said: “Although paracetamol is widely used, its effectiveness in relieving pain has only been established for a handful of conditions, and its benefits are often modest.

“High or moderate quality evidence that paracetamol (typically 0.5-1g, single or multiple doses) is superior to placebo for pain relief was only available for four of the 44 pain conditions examined.”

Experts looked at the effects of paracetamol compared to a placebo drug on 50 different common pain conditions.

Of the 50 different common conditions, he found osteoarthritis of the knee and hip, tension headaches, craniotomy (where bone is removed from the skull), and perineal pain after childbirth were receptive to the drug. .

Study author Dr Christina Abdel Shaheed said paracetamol works better for tension headaches than placebo drugs, “but for most other conditions we just lack the evidence to make any claims. strong or definitive on the effectiveness of paracetamol. “

Paracetamol may do more harm than good and MUST NOT be prescribed for chronic pain, officials say

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