The first, Long-Term Opioid Therapy â€“ What Are the Effects?, brings us the results of Dr. Forest Tennant’s ground-breaking study. He evaluated 24 chronic pain patients from 30 to 79 years old who had been using opioids for 10 to 35 years, and “concluded that the significant improvements in quality of life and physical functioning from opioid therapy are so positive they outweigh any negative complications, which can be easily managed.”
Almost all of the patients (22 of 24) said their pain had permanently decreased over time. And the vast majority (20 of 24) felt their opioids still provided the same relief as when they started treatment. All of the patients reported one or more functions or activities they can do now that they couldn’t do prior to beginning opioid therapy (i.e., get out of bed everyday, take walks, shop or visit friends).
The article details the patients’ diagnoses and gives further information, and I encourage you to read the rest of it. While the study was small and obviously needs to be repeated with a larger group, this is marvelous news, and I for one am very grateful for Dr. Tennant’s work and the participation of his subjects.
Next, in One Patient’s Experience with Savella for Fibromyalgia, Richards brings us detailed feedback from one of her contacts, Brenda, who has been taking the new drug for seven weeks. Many of us have heard of Savella, but so few have had an opportunity to try it or know anyone who have that this article is very helpful in making a decision as to whether or not to ask our physicians for it. After reading about Brenda’s advice regarding insurance experiences, dealing with side effects, and positive results, I for one will be talking to my neurologist about a trial pack.