Cochrane Summaries

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Opioids for long-term treatment of noncancer pain

Noble M, Treadwell JR, Tregear SJ, Coates VH, Wiffen PJ, Akafomo C, Schoelles KM
Published Online: 
10 November 2010

The findings of this systematic review suggest that proper management of a type of strong painkiller (opioids) in well-selected patients with no history of substance addiction or abuse can lead to long-term pain relief for some patients with a very small (though not zero) risk of developing addiction, abuse, or other serious side effects. However, the evidence supporting these conclusions is weak, and longer-term studies are needed to identify the patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment.

This record should be cited as: 
Noble M, Treadwell JR, Tregear SJ, Coates VH, Wiffen PJ, Akafomo C, Schoelles KM. Long-term opioid management for chronic noncancer pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD006605. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006605.pub2
Assessed as up to date: 
19 May 2009