Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

Purdue Pharma to plead guilty and pay $8.3bn over opioid marketing

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4103 (Published 22 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4103

Rapid Response:

Beware of Opioids

Dear Editor

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

23 October 2020
Hugh Mann
Physician
Retired
NY, NY, USA