Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: pain

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5683 (Published 06 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:b5683

Beware of Opioids

Opioids are highly addictive narcotics that create the euphoria of analgesia
(pain-free), and the sickness of hyperalgesia (pain-sensitivity). The euphoria of
analgesia, and the sickness of hyperalgesia, are polar opposites, which
reinforce
each other: the euphoria blinds you to the sickness; and the sickness makes
you
crave the euphoria. Ironically, opioids create and aggravate the very sickness
they seem to cure.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 January 2010
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA