3. Pain Points
A new study in the journal Painthat compared the two most common pain-relief drug categories—NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and opioids such as oxycodone—found that the risk of reporting persistent pain six weeks after a car crash was not statistically different among patients prescribed either medication at the ED. What did differ significantly was the likelihood that people initially prescribed opioids, which can be addictive, would still be using them by that time. The lead author, Francesca Beaudoin, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, says they saw signs that different patients responded differently to pain management. Researchers will next try to identify what characteristics best predict which therapy is best for which patients. Such a system could help doctors manage patients’ pain while only prescribing opioids for people who really need them.