Research finds a drug that controls post-surgery pain effectively

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At the Medical University of South Carolina, researchers have made an exciting breakthrough.

They’ve discovered that a drug called N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is already approved by the FDA for other uses, can greatly reduce pain in patients after surgery, particularly those who have undergone spinal operations.

Patients who received NAC during their spinal surgery reported feeling less pain afterwards and used fewer opioid painkillers.

Opioids are commonly used for managing severe pain but carry risks like addiction and reduced effectiveness over time. This makes the search for safer pain management options crucial.

Leading the charge in this research are Dr. Sylvia Wilson and Dr. Michael Scofield. Dr. Wilson is focused on finding better pain management solutions that reduce reliance on opioids.

Dr. Scofield, meanwhile, has extensively studied NAC’s effects on the brain, particularly how it influences pain perception and addiction.

Their joint efforts culminated in a clinical study where spinal surgery patients were given either NAC or a placebo saline solution. The results were clear: those treated with NAC needed 19% fewer opioid doses compared to those who received the placebo.

They also waited longer before requesting pain medication, suggesting that NAC’s benefits might last longer than previously thought. This aligns with Dr. Scofield’s earlier research into NAC’s enduring effects in addiction treatment, especially with heroin.

Encouraged by these findings, the team is now looking to test NAC’s effectiveness in other surgeries, starting with minimally invasive hysterectomies.

This expanded study aims to better understand NAC’s ability to alleviate post-surgical pain and confirm its safety for various surgical procedures.

Changing established medical practices is challenging and requires robust evidence and comprehensive clinical trials. Dr. Wilson and her team are dedicated to this effort, hoping to establish NAC as a reliable and safer alternative to opioids for post-surgical pain management.

This approach to pain management could significantly alter how post-operative care is handled, potentially enhancing recovery for many patients.

As this research advances, it offers hope for those looking for opioid alternatives and highlights the importance of developing and validating new methods for pain relief.

The details of these groundbreaking findings are available for further reading in the journal Pain Management, providing a deep dive into a possible future of safer, more effective post-surgical care.

If you care about pain, please read studies about vitamin K deficiency linked to hip fractures in old people, and these vitamins could help reduce bone fracture risk.

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