Drug safety and suicidality risk of chronic pain medications


Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


Chronic pain is one of the main leading causes of disability in the world at present. A variety in the symptomatology, intensity and duration of this phenomenon has led to an ever-increasing demand of pharmacological treatment and relief. This demand for medication, ranging from well-known groups, such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines, to more novel drugs, was followed by a rise in safety concerns of such treatment options. The validity, frequency, and diversity of such concerns are discussed in this paper, as well as their possible effect on future prescription practices. A specific caution is provided towards the psychological safety and toll of these medications, regarding suicidality and suicidal ideation. Most significantly, this paper highlights the importance of pharmacovigilance and underscores the necessity of surveillance programs when considering chronic pain medication.



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