08:39 AM

Is the Goal to Eliminate Opioids Altogether? Not So Fast …

Pharmacy Practice News discusses whether providers should be striving to eliminate the use of opioids from their practice. Experts including HSS anesthesiologist Christopher L. Wu, MD talk through current data which suggests the safety and efficacy of opioid-free anesthesia are relatively thin.

Dr. Wu and others agree opioids are an integral part of postoperative pain management. “I think what’s changed is that prior to the opioid crisis, opioids were one of the first things we’d use to address patients’ postoperative pain. Now we’ve shifted the order, so they’re among the last drugs we choose,” he said.

Dr. Wu noted the lack of data regarding opioid-free anesthesia, citing “Although it might seem intuitive that avoiding opioids is a good thing, don’t forget that if we don’t use opioids, we’re going to have to use other agents, all of which have some side effects.” He added, “And as more and more data come out, it’s becoming clear there are risks associated with some nonopioid agents and techniques as well.”

Read the full article at Pharmacypracticenews.com.