Thursday, May 8, 2008

Opioid use and sexual dysnfunction

I Came across this article that some of you may be interested in. I'll have to say that if you are in the kind of pain that I'm in, sex is the least of your worries. It does go to show you the amount of research that is going on but until the public, the medical profession and the Justice Department takes a different attitude about the millions of people that are suffering, and educate themselves on the use of opioids, I can't see where the great research being done is going to help. It is so sad that millions of people like me have to suffer so much because of the ego and stupidity of a few. It is happening though, every single day.

"Unfortunately, chronic pain and sexual problems often go together. Yet, many patients suffer in silence, healthcare providers rarely ask about patients’ sexual concerns, and guidance literature on the subject is relatively scarce. Ironically, the long-acting opioid medications prescribed to relieve patients’ pains often are the source of sexual dysfunction.

In an evidence-based commentary article for Pain Treatment Topics – “Opioid-Induced Sexual Dysfunction: Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment” – Stephen Colameco, MD, MEd, discusses the problem and how healthcare providers can help their patients.
Considerable evidence suggests that long-acting opioids used on a daily basis for more than a month can reduce hormonal function in both men and women. Besides sexual dysfunction, symptoms can include weight gain, fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, and irregular menstrual cycles.

These problems can be treated, if they are properly diagnosed, but different approaches are needed in males and females. Colameco provides a number of recommendations:
-- Prior to the initiation of therapy, prescribers should inform patients that hormonal disturbances are common with higher dose, long-term opioid treatment.
-- After treatment is started, patients should be routinely evaluated for signs and symptoms of hormone deficiency, including sexual dysfunction.
-- When hormonal deficiency is suspected, appropriate laboratory testing should be ordered.
-- An important treatment in men often is testosterone supplementation. Topical, buccal, or transdermal formulations are preferred over intramuscular injections.
-- In women, testosterone treatment is controversial and supplementation with DHEA/DHEAS may be preferred due to its ability to raise hormone levels without significant side effects. Alternatively, rotation from one opioid medication to another may be effective.

In sum, opioid treatment is intended to reduce patients’ pain, and to improve physical and social functioning. Opioid-induced hormonal deficiencies and associated sexual dysfunctions are common and often overlooked consequences of opioid therapy. If left untreated, they may negate the potential benefits of this analgesic. It is hoped that through a better understanding of these problems opioid therapy can be more effectively used in the treatment of chronic pain.
The complete article (8 pages) is available for free access at: ".


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Jerry said...

Thank you Hima for your kind words


Anonymous said...

hi jerry no need to post good blog,ill figure out n sign up,My life is pain born curved spine,back 4 herniated disksL4-L5 T10-T11..sclerosis end plates,schmorls nodes spurrin ect.neck uncinate spurring c4 c5 hernated.Killin me..5 mg meds helped in past.30 lasted 1 month avg.i pay 365 to see doc no meds cant work cant spend last dollar to see careless doctors,have C.T. results bones crushing nerves on floor 3-5 day,desp cant take neck pain much longer.with med in past could live bit to get pain meds/or die soon,im no addict no reckord,worked security,sex ha ha last in 2000 backs to bad who cares i just want to be able to go out n not get stuck n crall inch by inch pre paid funeral pain gonna kill

Jerry said...

Thank you Freadu for your comments. Your story is gut rinching and repeated to often in America and other countries. Please go some of my favorite sites, on the right side of the screen of my blog. Just remember, you are not alone. You are in my prayers.