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GPs reluctant to prescribe opiods for chronic pain

GPs are reluctant to prescribe opiods for chronic pain, compared with other analgesics, despite concerns that many patients are not receiving adequate pain control in primary care.

A survey of nearly 1,200 GPs found 83% said they felt opiods were effective for chronic non-malignant pain, but over 69% said they were reluctant to prescribe them.

The GPs cited concerns about managing opiods long-term and the effects on patient behaviour and addiction as reasons behind their reticence to prescribe the drugs.

The authors of the research from the University of Bath said many GPs felt ‘trapped' when prescribing opiods and needed more training on managing chronic pain.

The study published online in the Primary Health Care and Research and Development journal.

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