Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Keywords: low back pain, opioids, naproxen, oxycodone, cyclobenzaprine (PubMed Search)
If there weren't enough reasons to avoid opioids, here is another: opioids don't work for low back pain (LBP).
A well-done, double-blind, randomized controlled trial from JAMA set out to compare functional outcomes and pain at 1 week and 3 months after an ED visit for acute LBP among patients randomized to a 10-day course of (1) naproxen + placebo; (2) naproxen + cyclobenzaprine; or (3) naproxen + oxycodone/acetaminophen.
Neither oxycodone/acetaminophen nor cyclobenzaprine improved pain or functional outcomes at 1 week compared to placebo, and more adverse effects were noted.
Application to Clinical Practice
Among patients with acute, nontraumatic, nonradicular LBP presenting to the ED, avoid adding opioids or cyclobenzaprine to the standard NSAID therapy.
Friedman BW, et al. Naproxen with Cyclobenzaprine, Oxycodone/Aceaminophen, or Placebo for Treating Acute Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2015;314(15):1572-80.
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