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Urgent care clinicians practice where the rubber meets the road—treating patients who feel so bad they cannot wait to be seen by their primary care physician. The downside is that physicians often don’t know patients well—which means they need to be vigilant for opioid addicts and “patients” who are actually looking to obtain drugs so they can sell them for their own profit. This has given birth to a movement seeking to lower prescribing rates for narcotic pain relievers. Now the clinical benefits of some opiates are coming into question, as an article published in The Conversation goes so far as to ask whether opioids actually make pain worse. Considering data recently published by the National Academy of Sciences USA, the article notes that morphine “can persistently exacerbate pain in rats.” It’s a particularly thorny issue for frontline prescribers like the urgent care clinician. (To keep up to date with the latest headlines in treating patients with acute pain, visit the Acute Pain Resource Center produced by JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.)

Think Twice Before Prescribing Opioids in the Urgent Care Center
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