Choosing Wisely:

Don’t choose opioids or narcotics as the first choice of treatment for neuropathic pain.

Rationale and Comments: Opioids and narcotics include drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and others. Risks related to the use of these drugs include uncontrollable sleepiness and slow or stopped breathing. They are a leading cause of addiction and avoidable death. Opioids may be less risky when used for a short time after some surgeries or when used for pain related to deadly cancers. There are many effective, safer options for neuropathic pain.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Neurologic
  • References: • Scholten PM, Harden RN. Assessing and treating patients with neuropathic pain. PM R. 2015;7(11Suppl):S257-69.

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