Study: Topical analgesic treatment can be used to replace opioids
The study showed that 50 percent of patients with chronic pain who were treated with topical analgesics discontinued their opioid medications
By EMS1 Staff
AUSTIN, Texas — A recent study showed that topical analgesics can be used to replace opioid medications in patients with chronic pain.
Clarity Science found that out of the chronic pain patients they treated with topical analgesics, 50 percent of them discontinued their opioid medications after three to six months.
"In addition to previous results showing that topical analgesics were associated with reductions of up to 60 percent in the use of concurrent pain medications, including oral opioid analgesics, we now have data reflecting discontinuation of opioids after being treated with this therapy for three- and six-months,” lead researcher Jeffery Gudin said. “Especially in today's environment, identifying treatments other than opioids for clinicians to prescribe to their pain patients has become a priority."
“We hope the results of this study empower the payors to re-evaluate how they address coverage of treatments for their patients experiencing chronic pain,” study author Peter Hurwitz said. “We have heard in the past that there is not sufficient scientific evidence supporting the use of topical analgesics for the management of chronic pain. With the focus on reducing the number of patients being prescribed opioids, other available therapeutic options must be considered to allow their patient-members in pain to be properly treated and managed. We are continuing our research efforts to identify treatments that are safe and effective and that can also reduce long-term societal cost and downstream impact. The results of this study are a positive step in that direction."