Drs. Seth Berkowitz and Mitchell Katz Call for More Research on Pharmacotherapy for Pain Management

Seth A. Berkowitz, MD, and Mitchell H. Katz, MD, call for researching alternative ways to treat pain instead of pharmacotherapy, according to an editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"As practicing physicians who treat many patients with chronic pain, we welcome additional research that seeks to minimize the use of pharmacotherapy, with its unclear efficacy and attendant consequences, in favor of a regimen that focuses, in a truly patient-centered way, on teaching skills for self-management of symptoms and return to meaningful lives," they wrote.

Some methods that have seen success in studies are cognitive behavioral therapy and anti-depressants, which have been shown to reduce pain in levels similar to opioids. A study published in the same issue of Archives of Internal Medicine found cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise, alone or in combination, are better than usual care to treat chronic widespread pain.

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