Developments in stem cell therapy offers solutions that can be used to address the problem of opioid tolerance that could potentially improve the lives of millions of chronic pain sufferers. Using stem cells to treat opioid dependence is but one of many uses of stem cells being developed and that is available for use today.
Risks of Using Opioids in High Dosages
High doses of prescription opioids are usually used by patients under medical supervision to manage chronic pain. Common examples of opioids include codeine (generic), Vicodin, and oxycodone. However, with their use comes the risk of addiction, side effects, dependence, and withdrawal after use. The risks are greater for larger dosages. The larger the dose, the more dangerous it is for patients to use opioids. The greatest dangers posed are for incorrect usage. Serious side effects of larger doses May include slowed heart rates, breathing, and even death.
One of the most serious side-effects of using opioids for treating pain is hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia is a condition wherein a patient becomes more sensitive to pain. It is closely related to both drug withdrawal and drug tolerance. The greater a patient experiences pain, the more a patient increases their opioid dose to try to deal with the pain. This causes a vicious cycle, where their opioid doses continue to rise.
Both drug tolerance and hyperalgesia cause patients to increase the amounts of opioids they use. Using stem cell treatments may be a way to counter this. In a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic using stem cell therapies the problems of opioid tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia were addressed. The treatments show great promise for enabling opioid users to be able to get the painkilling effects using stem cells using much safer methods.
Stem Cell Therapy Provides an Answer to the Problem of Opioid Tolerance
The study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic found that treatments using stem cells reduced pain while also significantly reducing tolerance to opioids.
One main reason why using opioids is disadvantageous to both providers and patients is that their continued use leads to tolerance. Opioid users would have to keep on increasing their dosages in order to get the same pain killing effects. The higher the dosage, the higher the risk of abuse and addiction. If there were a way to prevent tolerance, then it would be safer for patients to use opioids to manage their pain.
One of the leading uses of regenerative therapy, which includes stem cell therapy, is treating back and joint pain and injury. Regenerative therapies is a viable alternative to traditional surgery. To find out more about how regenerative therapy can help people with back, neck and joint pain, contact Spine Institute Northwest at (888) 712-0318.