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Doctors urge topical medication before an opioid prescription

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Two doctors are urging their colleagues to pull back on writing a script for potentially dangerous drugs.

"When you look at the use of opioids, even after five days you're already at risk of some kind of long term abuse and by 90 days it's almost impossible to get off the stuff," said Dr. Bob Arnot, a former NBC and CBS chief medical correspondent.

Arnot, along with Dr. Jeff Gudin, want physicians to try using topical pain relievers like creams and patches before prescribing opioids.

"Unfortunately doctors just aren't going there because I think there's a lack of knowledge out there, so we're trying to educate clinicians that why choose a safer alternative for first lien treatment and save the other medicines for further down the road," said Gudin.

Dr. Gudin did a survey of people using topical pain relievers, which was published in the Journal of Pain Research.

"We were quite surprised to see or thrilled to see that not only did they get relief, more than half of them stopped their concurrent pain medicines, the pills they took by mouth, including many of the opioids," he said.

Dr. Arnot said opioids aren’t his only concern.

"If you take an oral pain medication, it goes through your liver, your lung, your heart, your brain with the risk of lots of different kinds of side effects. Even the seemingly safe medications like ibuprofen - 16, 500 deaths a year. Acetaminophen - 500, 400 to 500 deaths a year," said Arnot.

This segment is provided to you by Salonpas.

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