Methadone may be more effective than fentanyl for head, neck cancer pain, study finds

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by Jim Orr

A new study published in the European Journal of Cancer has found that methadone may be more effective than fentanyl at treating patients with pain caused by cancer of the neck or head. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful painkiller about 80-100 times more potent than morphine that is linked to an increased risk of overdose and other potentially fatal complications compared to other opioid painkillers.

Researchers in the EJC study hypothesized that because methadone acts on receptors in the body affecting neuropathic pain, the drug could be more effective at treating patients with head or neck cancer. Patients with head or neck cancer who were enrolled in the study were treated with either fentanyl or methadone to test which was more effective at managing their severe pain.

The researchers found that patients who were treated with fentanyl had consistently higher levels of average pain than those that were treated with methadone. The study also found that the patients who were treated with methadone experienced a successful reduction in their pain levels throughout the course of the study.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that methadone may be a more effective means of treating patients with cancer affecting the neck or head than fentanyl. Although methadone is used in the treatment of patients with an addiction to opiates such as heroin, the drug is also prescribed as a painkiller for patients with serious pain.

Evidence suggesting that methadone may be a more effective treatment for patients with head or neck cancer comes at a time when the federal government is aggressively trying to deal with the problem of opioid abuse in the U.S. Government officials and health experts have stated that the widespread availability of synthetic fentanyl is creating an abuse and addiction epidemic that may be more serious than the problem of heroin addiction.

Opioid Painkiller Lawsuits Filed By HO&P Attorneys

The epidemic of opioid overprescription in the U.S. has caused thousands of cases of abuse, addiction, and overdoses linked to the use of medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, and fentanyl. Much of the responsibility for this epidemic lies at the feet of the pharmaceutical industry, which has aggressively promoted these dangerous medications to physicians, ignoring the potentially disastrous health consequences the may cause for patients. The indiscriminate prescribing practices of some doctors, hospitals, or medical staff have also played a role in the explosive growth in the number of opioid prescriptions issued in the U.S.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an overdose or other complications caused by the use of prescription opioid painkillers, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. The first step in taking legal action is to talk with a law firm whose attorneys have the knowledge and experience to successfully handle your case from start to finish.

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed more lawsuits on behalf of fentanyl overdose victims than all other law firms in the country combined. Our lawyers have also represented numerous patients who have suffered complications and potentially deadly complications from prescription painkillers. Our firm is committed to helping patients and their loved ones affected by the overprescription of dangerous opioid painkillers or other medications to patients.

If you or a loved one has suffered an overdose involving fentanyl, methadone or other opioid painkillers, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit. For more information, contact our office by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following this link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few short questions to get started.