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ACP Journal Club |

Review: In knee and hip OA, opioids reduce pain and improve function but increase adverse events

Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(4):JC8. doi:10.7326/ACPJC-2015-162-4-008
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Lyn March, MD
Institute of Bone and Joint Research
University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital
St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia





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Risks and benefits
Posted on March 14, 2015
J Walden Retan MD
The Pain Clinic, Cooper Green/Mercy Health Services, Birmingham, AL
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
Osteoarthritis of the knee is common, often very painful, and has limited treatment options. Geriatric guidelines advise against used of NSAIDS in older people. Acetaminophen damage is a common cause of liver transplants. Joint injections have known limitations. The pain-moderation benefit of opioids is pretty universal. The adverse events are uncommon. The benefit/risk profile of opioids earns them consideration among alternatives as something other than a last resort.

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