When Pain Meds Induce Pain: Opiate Induced Hyperalgesia

When Pain Meds Induce Pain: Opiate Induced Hyperalgesia

For patients with chronic conditions that result in terrible pain, opioids are a blessing that brings relief in a time of great suffering. But pain medication is only meant to be used for so long. The intent for opioids as a pain medication is short term since it doesn’t treat pain, it only masks it. Masking pain for long periods of time doesn’t treat the problem, it only allows for the problem to get worse as time progresses. For those that receive long-term opioid pain treatments or develop a tolerance for opioids, a condition known an opiate-induced hyperalgesia may develop which heightens an individual’s perception of pain.

What is Opiate-Induced Hyperalgesia?

As the heroin epidemic is still taking thousands of lives a year, it is imperative to awaken to the perils of opiates. Most people develop an addiction to opiates as a result of a pain medication. Chronic pain affects thousands of individuals, and one of the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of pain is opioids. Opiate-induced hyperalgesia is a condition that develops after long-term opiate use for chronic pain conditions or recreational use. It is different than tolerance, which is when the body’s opiate receptors begin to recognize and familiarize the presence of opiates and not respond the same way they once did, providing numbing effects that mask the symptoms of pain. Once an opioid tolerance forms, it takes a higher dosage of the medication to feel the effects of anesthesia or numbing. Hyperalgesia is a condition that pairs with tolerance of opiates, causing an increased sensitivity to pain. Patients who once were prescribed with opiates or took them to experience relief from pain begin to experience increased levels of pain due to opiate-induced hyperalgesia. It is believed that this condition is caused by damaged of nociceptors, which is a nerve receptor that interprets pain stimulus and communicates with the brain. Patients with opiate-induced hyperalgesia experience symptoms of:

  • A decreased tolerance for pain
  • A sensitivity to any stimulus, even those that are not supposed to cause pain
  • Increased level of pain even after taking opioid medications
  • Increased pain in areas that were not previously affected by chronic pain symptoms

Opioids that can lead to opiate-induced hyperalgesia include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycontin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Lortab
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin

Treating Opiate-Induced Hyperalgesia

If you or a loved one is experiencing heightened levels of pain even though opioids are being administered as a pain medication, treatment is available to you today at Wellness Retreat Recovery Center. We provide chronic pain medication management, medically supervised detox, and treatment services for individuals suffering from opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Not only do we provide treatment, we offer a guarantee of our services. If you are not free of your pain medication upon finishing our program, you will be invited to stay with us again free of charge! To find out more about our programs and facility, please visit our website. If you have any questions about us or would like to get started with treatment, please call us at 888-821-0238 for a confidential conversation about your options today!