Why compound pain creams are great alternative and should be implemented ASAP.
Amid growing concerns about a nationwide epidemic of painkiller addiction and abuse, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come out with new federal guidelines on the use of powerful drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. The guidelines are designed for doctors and aim to reduce the overprescribing of opioid drugs.
Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to the new guidelines, which are voluntary for doctors to follow. Instead, patients should be encouraged to try physical therapy, exercise and over-the-counter pain medications before turning to opioid painkillers for chronic pain. Opioid drugs include medications like morphine and oxycodone as well as illegal narcotics like heroin.
In an article about the new guidelines published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Frieden and co-author Dr. Debra Houry write: “Whereas the benefits of opioids for chronic pain remain uncertain, the risks of addiction and overdose are clear … Nearly all the [opioid painkiller] products on the market are no less addictive than heroin.”
Under the new guidelines, doctors would prescribe painkillers only after considering non-addictive pain relievers, behavioral changes and other options. The CDC also wants doctors to prescribe the lowest effective dose possible. And doctors should only continue prescribing the drugs if patients show significant improvement.