Navigation Links
Long-term use of prescription-based painkillers increases the risk of depression, SLU researcher finds
Date:10/31/2013

ST. LOUIS Opioid analgesics, or prescription-based narcotic pain killers, have long been known to reduce pain, but reports of adverse effects and addiction continue to surface. Now, a team of investigators led by a Saint Louis University researcher has discovered a link between chronic use of pain-relieving medication and increase in the risk of developing major depression.

The study, which was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on October 31 analyzed medical record data of about 50,000 veterans who had no history of opioid use or depression, and were subsequently prescribed opioid pain killers.

According to the findings, patients who started and remained on opioids for 180 days or longer were at a 53 percent increased risk of developing a new episode of depression, and those using opioids for 90-180 days were at a 25 percent increased risk compared to patients who never took opioids for longer than 1-89 days.

"These findings suggest that the longer one is exposed to opioid analgesics, the greater is their risk of developing depression," said Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D. associate professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University and principle investigator of the study. "Opioids have long been known to allay pain and suffering, but reports of adverse effects are abundant and continue to emerge."

Scherrer said even though there is no clear evidence about the mechanisms by which opioids may contribute to the development of depression in a patient, there could be several factors that lead to it.

Some of these include opioid-induced resetting of the brain's 'reward pathway' to a higher level, which means the chronic use of narcotic pain killers can elevate the threshold for a person's ability to experience pleasure from natural rewards such as a food or sexual activity.

Other factors may include body aches months and years after the use of opioids has stopped, side effects such as adrenal, testosterone and vitamin D deficiencies and glucose dysregulation.

The study also suggests that the higher the dose of opioid analgesics, the greater the risk of depression.

"Preliminary evidence suggests that if you can keep your daily dose low, you may be at lower risk for depression," he said.

Scherrer notes that even though a minority of patients take these pain killers chronically, they are at risk of developing depression that can affect their quality of life and ability to cope with chronic pain.

He said recent studies indicate that the use of prescription opioid analgesics has quintupled recently and that more than 200 million prescriptions were issued to patients in 2009 in the US.

"Even though the risk is not huge, there is enough exposure that we may have a public health problem," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Riya Anandwala
ranandwa@slu.edu
314-977-8018
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Five-Year Follow-Up Data on CERAMENT™
2. BONE VOID FILLER Demonstrates Long-Term Safety and Long-Lasting Bone Mineral Density Improvement in Osteoporotic Patients
3. Large prospective study finds long-term obesity is associated with poorer pancreatic cancer survival
4. Body contouring improves long-term weight control after gastric bypass
5. Short-term hearing loss can cause long-term problem
6. Long-term hormonal therapy in intermediate-risk PCa patients does not improve overall survival
7. BCC Research Publishes a New Report on Global Markets for Long-Term and Home Health Care
8. Gene-expression-based biomarker predicts long-term risk of breast cancer recurrence
9. Zamansky LLC Investigates C.R. Bard Inc. On Behalf Of Long-Term Shareholders Over Allegations Related to Vaginal-Mesh Implants
10. Long-term calcium-channel blocker use for hypertension associated with higher breast cancer risk
11. Therapy for severe vasculitis shows long-term effectiveness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, ... aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and ... necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: