Opioid Induced Constipation

OK. Let me get this straight. Patients are prescribed opioids for pain. They then possibly obtain relief from their pain, get sedated and sleepy and subsequently get constipated. The brilliant marketing people at Big Pharma then dreamed up a solution to a problem that they created. They invented the term “Opioid Induced Constipation”! You might have seen one of their 30-second Superbowl ads this year costing about $5 million dollars. And of course they had a solution. Take another drug!

Big Pharma is far from stupid. Why run an ad if if they couldn’t make money. So of course they have a drug to treat this! Of course the company that ran the ad, Astra Zeneca, dreamed up an oh-so-cute name for their drug. Movantic (get it – mov- like move your bowels) costs about $300 per month. There even is another drug by Salix named Relistor ( relis – like release your bowels I guess) is actually a injection you give yourself and goes for about $400. What a deal.

Here’s a suggestion. STOP TAKING OPIOIDS! There are about 38 million people who are prescribed opioids each year, with some people having monthly refills, resulting in 259 million prescriptions written in 2012. Between 40-80% of these people suffer from opioid induced constipation. So you can imagine the incentive for Big Pharma in creating a drug to treat a side effect of a drug. They benefit from both ends. What does this result in?

How about 16,000 people dying per year from overdose of opioids. Over 420,000 emergency department visits relating to abuse of narcotic pain relievers. DO you know how to stop this from happening? STOP TAKING OPIOIDS!

There is a solution. In January 2016 HelloMD perform a survey of 17,000 of our patients. Of the patients that responded, 34% of all users used it to help with their pain symptoms and 84% found that it helped. Not only that, 0% got constipated! Also, there has NEVER been an overdose from cannabis. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years to help treat painful conditions and has a perfect safety record.

Of course this is not what Big Pharma wants. They would rather get you addicted to opioids and then sell you a drug to treat the side effects.


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