Opioid prescriptions for chronic or long term pain have drastically increased in recent years. Doctors are prescribing opioids for a broad range of long term, chronic non-cancer pain conditions, including chronic back pain, headaches, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Some of the most commonly prescribed long term painkiller drugs include Dolophine (methadone), Duragesic (fentanyl), Avinza (morphine) and OxyContin (oxycodone).
But despite the increased frequency of painkiller prescriptions, there is very little reason to believe that powerful opioids are safe and effective for long term use. On the other hand, it is readily apparent that such use has resulted in numerous instances of death and addiction that could have been avoided.
Studies link narcotic painkillers to a variety of dangers, from fatal overdoses to addiction to increased falls and hip fractures. In fact, the public health crisis resulting from long acting opioids has become so severe that the FDA has issued a warning about the risk of side effects associated with prescription painkillers.
While the FDA is attempting to reduce the rate of addiction, overdose and death, many question whether long acting opioids should be offered at all. There is basically no evidence that the benefits of using opioid painkillers on a long-term basis outweigh the risks of complications from the drugs.
If you or a loved one suffered an overdose or other side effects after being prescribed long-term painkillers by a doctor, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free consultation to find out if you are eligible to file a case, contact the lawyers at the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing the free case evaluation form on this page.