"The way opioids are currently being prescribed reminds us of the old Mark Twain saying — 'If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail'," Dr. Ray told colleagues. (Direct Quote Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/811385)
Traditionally opioids have been widely used to treat and manage pain in patients particularly following surgery or postoperative situations. Doctors have relied on opioids and many have just sort of fallen into using opioids as the automatic “go-to” when treating pain with their patients.
Opioids are effective in treating pain (such as with postoperative treatment), but there are some negative side effects associated with long term use of opioids and as a result, some doctors have tried looking at different tactics to go about treating pain in a way that involves the least amount of toxicity to the patient.
One of the ways this is done is by what is known as a multimodal approach. This basically involves the action of combining various drugs with varying mechanisms of action to yield a more synergistic effect in the treatment process of a patient.
For instance, Acetaminophen has been shown in different clinical studies to work in a synergistic way with opioids. This was done for the purpose of alleviating pain while being able to cut the dose of opioid usage while still being able to yield a reduction of pain in the process.
Shifting The Paradigm
Some doctors are looking to shift the focus from a culture that is opioid-dependent. This thought process comes from the increase in the usage of opioids in treating malignant pain.
The areas of concern with opioids come from all the problems that are associated with long term use of the drug. One of these negative side effects is the development of disordered breathing syndromes which are associated with prolonged use of the drugs.
In addition to this, there has also been increased usage in drugs with patients that become too dependent on the use of opioids. Of course, this is another problem entirely in and of itself.
Despite these problems, opioids are still viewed as the cornerstone when it comes to treating malignant pain in patients. It’s still the main go-to when it comes to the primary treatment of pain.
Granted doctors will tend to lean on opioids for treatment, but some doctors say that some opioids should be avoided altogether. The search for alternative pain relief is ongoing and strategies such as the multi-modal approach are being implemented in order to better manage the dosage of the drugs.
The key to treating pain is finding an answer that works for both the doctor and the patient. The multi-modal approach in trying to leverage various drugs for the purpose of minimizing opioid consumption is a great start for treating pain and minimizing the toxicity of drugs that are introduced to a given patient.
The goal of every doctor and patient should be to treat pain aggressively while also minimizing negative side effects. The good news is that there are alternative methods for treating pain and minimizing negative side effects.
One powerful alternative that has been used for hundreds of years in the treatment of pain is snake venom. Yes, you read that correctly.
Snake venom has medicinal purposes and has been leveraged in the medical community in many ways to fight pain. Granted there are many properties and multiple types of venoms that function in different ways, but one powerful alternative is the use of cobra venom.
Cobra venom contains a powerful protein that is used in fighting pain and can be found in the very interesting topical pain relief gel, known as CobraZol. CobraZol’s main pain-relieving active ingredient is cobra venom. The product also contains two other types of snake venom to complete the cocktail and to deliver a powerful alternative to treating pain.
For more information on our CobraZol line of products: