US Pharm. 2016;41(7):12.

Baltimore, MD—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) who received long-term opioid treatment for pain often had more pain and fatigue than those not on long-term opioid treatment. Records of 83 adults (29 on long-term opioid therapy, 54 not taking opioids) with SCD who filled out daily electronic pain diaries for 90 days were assessed. Long-term opioid patients reported noncrisis pain intensities >3 times higher than in nonopioid patients, and they had 32% higher pain levels on crisis pain days. They also had twice the fatigue on noncrisis days and 33% higher fatigue on crisis days. Long-term opioid patients had higher levels of central sensitization (amplification of painful sensations).

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