British GP’s are NOT Advising Painkillers for Chronic Pain

Painkillers for Chronic Pain

All common pain killers for chronic pain i.e. paracetamol and prescription-based opioids are no longer advised by the British GP’s. The NICE ruling discussing chronic pain has concluded that there is not plenty of evidence explaining how these medicines are helping to improve the quality of life in public. They also have no as such a role in stress-relieving or ending chronic pain which is why these medicines will no longer be available for pain treatment.

This ruling also highlighted the role of these painkillers in harming the body and causing addiction. This ruling is in response to increased use of painkillers by the British making them a pill-popping nation in the last few years.

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These medicines are sold and used by thousands of people to treat a primary level of pain. usually, the doctors are not able to find out the basic reason for this pain so these common painkillers are though to be the best treatment.

Many people are suffering from chronic back pain or pelvic pain and rely on these medicines. Typically, these painkillers for chronic pain are easily available but now GP’s have stopped recommending them for the right reasons.

Nick Kosky is a consultant psychiatrist and was the chairperson of these guideline committees. He says that people who have this type of chronic pain are looking for a ‘reason’ expecting an accurate diagnosis and receive a helpful treatment on the basis of this diagnosis. But it is mostly impossible because of the complexity that it is extremely difficult to find a reason.

This imbalance between the doctor’s diagnosis and the patient’s expectation affects the quality of healthcare and the patients sometimes become disheartens over this. It leads to giving him an ineffective and low impact medicine such as these painkillers which have more harm than the benefits, in the longer run.

This involves all medicines including the following.

  • Opioids for pain
  • Non-steroidal analgesic medicines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Medicines for epilepsy
  • Local anesthetics with or without corticosteroid combination
  • Paracetamol and Ketamine
  • Corticosteroids and Antipsychotic medicines

The guideline also directed GP’s to evaluate the risk for those who are already taking any of these medicines. In case the decision of discontinuation of these medicines shows up, they must make a plan for overcoming the withdrawal effects as well.

Paul Chrisp who is the director at the Centre for Guidelines at NICE. He comments that this guideline caters to the significance of a good patient-doctor relationship. It also recognizes the role of effective communication to make better care plans for chronic pain patients.

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While there are many treatments that prove ineffective or somehow poorly tolerated by the patient, it is necessary to know how is this chronic pain affecting the quality of life. It doesn’t only impact the patient’s life but everyone around him. So developing a better and effective care plan is much needed.

This guideline draft welcomes new research to find better and safer treatment for chronic pain. However, the lack of evidence on evaluating the patient’s experience with these common painkillers for chronic pain requires considering this factor for a better care plan.

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