Heswall and Pensby Group Practice

270 Telegraph Road, Heswall, Merseyside, CH60 7SG

Telephone: 0151 342 2811


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Opioid use

Opioids are very good analgesics for acute pain and pain at the end of life but there is little evidence that they are helpful for long-term pain. Despite this, they are widely prescribed for this reason.

The harms of this prescribing are now better understood, and government is regulating further. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will now ensure that packs of opioid medication carry clear warnings about the risks of addiction and dependence.

Doctors that specialise in pain have observed that over time the principles used in prescribing for acute pain and pain at the end of life have been applied to the field of chronic pain, despite a lack of evidence of effectiveness and the potential for harm.

Guidance from NICE is clear that opioids are not indicated for chronic pain, and guidence from the Royal College of Anaesthetists (the professional body for doctors that specialise in pain) has been clear about the harm that can be caused.

Understanding and addressing chronic pain can help to address opioid use, with the aim of reducing usage.

Below you will find a letter for you from our GP’s and some information leaflets to read.

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