Bioethics News

Do Opioids Make Pain Worse?

July 29, 2016

(Medical Xpress) – The latest finding is that opioids may actually worsen pain. My colleagues and I have just published a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that morphine can persistently exacerbate pain in rats. The medical community has recognized that opioids can cause abnormal pain sensitivity—termed opioid-induced hyperalgesia—but the sensitivity was only understood to occur while opioids were still present in the body. The surprising new twist is that morphine can increase pain for months after the opioid has left the body.

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