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Medical Marijuana: the Best and Safest Pain Killer
Dr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Marijuana treats pain and has never caused a death...
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - I presume that a few people will disagree with my thesis. I will admit to a few exceptions and I will address them later.
For my own review, I pulled up the standard doses of the opiates, (from opium) and the opioids, not from opium but totally synthetic. I’m going to dismiss Codeine, an opiate which is lightly used any more in doses from 15 to 120mg but which is severely constipating and has many other intolerable side effects.
I will base my discussion on Morphine which is the standard pain killer with a usual dose of 10mg sometimes lower. The big “daddies” are Hydrocodone dose of about 20mg but soon to be long acting at about 40mg per dose; Oxycodone dose is about 15mg but has a long acting dose from around 40mg; Heroin dose is around 4.0mg but Heroin addicts frequently take 10 times more; Hydromorphone is not common with a dose of about 2.0mg.
All of these cause severe constipation and addiction and many other adverse side effects but some are much worse than others.
The Opioids, those not from Opium but totally synthetic are Meperidine or Demerol with a dose of about 50mg which is presumed to be about equal to Morphine in the dose of 10mg; Methadone has a dose of about 3.0mg; Fentanyl in a dose of about 0.2mg compared to Morphine.
It is important to note that with long term use all of the above drugs cause tolerance or the requirement for increasing doses for the same relief. I have left out some of both classes, Opiate and Opioid because they seem to be rarely used.
We will soon be having more long acting, more addicting, more lethal drugs like Oxycontin. Drug overdoses and deaths mostly from this later type of drug approached 37,000 deaths in 2009.
I first was introduced to the Opioid painkiller, Demerol, when I started my medical practice, for migraines. I could tell from my patients apparent suffering that it was severe and I thought Morphine might be best. I was advised by my betters that Demerol with a brain blood vessel relaxing action would be better. It was!
On Nov. 18, 2010 I posted Marijuana: Miracle Pain Killer in salem-news.com lightly covering this subject. It received 10 comments. On March 2, 2009 I posted Marijuana vs. Morphine drugs on salem-news.com after I heard that Marijuana was extremely useful for severe pain. On Feb. 13, 2009 I posted Marijuana vs. Anti-depressants.
I received 35 comments many advising me that Marijuana was excellent therapy for pain with minimal adverse effects.
One of my biggest surprises in preparing this posting was to see that Marijuana was/is used together with drugs like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone for severe pain and otherwise. This may be one of the exceptions for Marijuana being equal to or better than Opiates.
Some extreme pain requires surgical severing of the pain nerve. Transcutaneoous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (T.E.N.S.) may be another option. I still say that with my 5000 or so patients with 70% complaining of severe pain having found relief with Mairjuana and most were able to stop the narcotics.
My experience and that of several thousands of physicians indicate that Marijuana works well for 150,000 Medical Marijuana patients for about 70% of those requesting permits for pain. It also works well for the 30% who have muscle spasms and the 20% of those who have nausea and vomiting for patients with Cancer or HIV or the medications for them.
CBS News had a recent story on the use of Marijuana in the various 17 legal states in 2009. Delaware had 11.86% of people using Marijuana and it went up to 16.29% for Alaska. The overall percentage for use in the U.S. was about 9%. In Australia and New Zealand it was up to about 20%.
SAFE MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS HERE TO STAY!!!