Opioid induced hyperalgesia

What is opioid induced hyperalgesia?

Patients receiving opioids to control their pain somewhat paradoxically may become more sensitive to pain (i.e., hyperalgesic) and may aggravate their preexisting pain as a direct result of opioid therapy. The disappearance of opioid treatment effects, particularly if coupled with the unexplained expansion of pain complaints, may signal the expression of OIH. In this setting, the use of alternative analgesics, multimodal approach, and detoxification from opioids may need to be considered. The prevalence of clinically significant OIH is currently unknown.


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