Nelson said the majority of problems with opioids come from people who are taking them for chronic pain. “Chronic pain is not as simple. It is a syndrome onto itself,” he said. If a person is prescribed an opioid for chronic pain, he or she will develop a tolerance to the medication and require higher and higher doses as the pain persists. This could lead to dependence and addiction. A recent study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine for a National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop concluded that treating chronic pain with opioids is oftentimes ineffective. “More research is needed to determine who would benefit from long-term opioid use,” said Dr. David Reuben, who was the panel chairman for the workshop. Most studies on opioid use last for 12 weeks or less and there are few follow-up studies. The goals of the workshop were to determine the long-term effectiveness of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain and to review the potential risks of taking opioids in various patient populations. “The workshop was a call to action to come up with much better evidence-based research to show what works and who should be prescribed opioids,” Reuben said.
Just found out you’re pregnant? Don’t stop taking your antidepressant medication. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women who have untreated or poorly treated psychiatric health problems, including depression, may be less likely to take good care of themselves during pregnancy. Let the doctor who is treating your depression know that you are pregnant. And, of course, let the doctor managing your pregnancy know that you have depression and are taking medication. Together, you can make decisions about how to best treat your depression during pregnancy .