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CLINICAL QUESTION Do the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks in patients with persistent pain due to rheumatoid arthritis? BOTTOM LINE Weak opioids (such as codeine, dextropropoxyphene, and tramadol) may be effective in the short-term management of rheumatoid arthritis pain, but adverse effects are common and may outweigh the benefits; alternative analgesics should be considered first.


Samuel L Whittle, Bethan L Richards, Rachelle Buchbinder. Opioid analgesics for rheumatoid arthritis pain. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. 2013 Feb 6;309(5):485-6

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PMID: 23385275

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