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Sixty seconds on . . . OxyContin

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k914 (Published 27 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k914

Beware of Opioids


Opioids are potent, addictive analgesics (pain medicine) that trick and trap us by creating the fleeting euphoria of analgesia (pain-free), but the sustained sickness of hyperalgesia (pain-sensitivity). The euphoria of analgesia and the sickness of hyperalgesia are polar opposites that reinforce each other: the euphoria blinds us to the sickness, and the sickness makes us crave the euphoria. Perversely but predictably, opioids create, aggravate, and perpetuate the very sickness of hyperalgesia that they falsely seem to cure, thus placing many potent analgesics in a bad light.


Competing interests: No competing interests

01 March 2018
Hugh Mann
Physician
Retired
New York, NY, USA