Using opioids in general practice for chronic non-cancer pain: an overview of current evidence

Alexandra A Bennett, Simon M Holliday and Milton Cohen
Med J Aust 2016; 205 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00682
Published online: 3 October 2016

Currow and colleagues1 discuss a complex and controversial therapeutic area — the use of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) — where it is acknowledged that there is a paucity of evidence demonstrating opioid effectiveness in long term management. The generally poor management of CNCP, including over-reliance on opioid use, may be attributed to lack of knowledge about the complex nature of CNCP and the role of non-drug options for treatment.

  • Alexandra A Bennett1
  • Simon M Holliday2,3
  • Milton Cohen4

  • 1 New South Wales Therapeutic Advisory Group, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Albert Street Medical Centre, Taree, NSW
  • 3 Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services, New England Local Health District, Taree, NSW
  • 4 St Vincent's Clinic, Sydney, NSW



We thank Phillip Bannon, Anna Drew, Chris Hayes, Aine Heaney, Sarah Hilmer, Greg Kelly, Judith Mackson, Bridin Murnion and Hester Wilson of the NSW TAG Pain Guidance Expert Advisory Group, who provided expertise in pain medicine, addiction medicine, paediatric, adult and geriatric clinical pharmacology and therapeutics, regulatory management of drugs of addiction, general practice, health technology assessment and medicines evaluation and clinical pharmacy.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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