Opioids can actually WORSEN pain.
When patients say their opioids aren't working, we automatically think disease progression...or opioid tolerance. But researchers say that something else could be going on.
Increasing evidence suggests that opioids may sometimes paradoxically INCREASE the sensitivity of pain...a phenomenon referred to as opioid-induced HYPERalgesia.
Patients will complain of an increase in sensitivity to existing pain...or have pain from ordinarily non-painful stimuli such as stroking the skin with cotton (allodynia).