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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Nov 2019 - 15 Nov 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 06

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol



Pain therapy – Are there new options on the horizon?


Stein C, Kopf A
Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2019 06; 33(3):101420.
PMID: 31703793.


This article reviews the role of analgesic drugs with a particular emphasis on opioids. Opioids are the oldest and most potent drugs for the treatment of severe pain, but they are burdened by detrimental side effects such as respiratory depression, addiction, sedation, nausea, and constipation. Their clinical application is undisputed in acute (e.g., perioperative) and cancer pain, but their long-term use in chronic pain has met increasing scrutiny and has contributed to the current opioid crisis. We discuss epidemiological data, pharmacological principles, clinical applications, and research strategies aiming at novel opioids with reduced side effects.