Please Explain: Pain Medication

Friday, August 02, 2013

This week we're following up on Please Explain: Pain to find out more about pain killers. Barry Meier, New York Times reporter and author of A World of Hurt: Fixing Pain Medicine’s Biggest Mistake, talks about how pain medications work, how over the counter analgesics compare to prescription pain killers, and the problems of pain killer addiction.


Barry Meier

Comments [18]


I found this show impossible to listen to, because the guy being interviewed kept gulping and swallowing in a way that was extremely irritating and distracting.

Sep. 26 2013 04:03 AM
Gail Daly from New Jersey

What a terrible discussion of the issues around pain medication. The author sounded barely knowledgable wbout the topic and the interviewer sounded bored and did a bad bad job. at worst it was misleading at best just gave minimle information poorly. This is a importqnt topic and even if he just wanted to sell the book was done badly.

Aug. 02 2013 03:53 PM
John A

For me it worked for about 2 days. Then lessening effect plus increased anxiety, like a caffeine overdose. I knew to stop there. Sounds like you had my 'day 3' effect on day 1.

Aug. 02 2013 02:26 PM
NinaB from NYC

I could never become addicted to Oxycodone. 5mg was enough to make me never want to look at the stuff again. That was no high. It was just about the lowest low ever. I could do nothing but lie in the dark waiting for the room to stop spinning. Ugh. Never again.

Aug. 02 2013 02:06 PM
John A

I noticed that oxycontin (for a broken leg) was addictive in 1998. Why it's taken all this time for overuse potential to be identified in the literature - thats a mystery to me too.

Aug. 02 2013 01:57 PM

Please look up Dr. Majid Ali M.D. and his work. He is interested in helping people to become their own primary care physician - at least with respect to all chronic illness and disease (including pain and inflammation). He knows what the causes of illness are, largely through his practice as a pathologist for over 30 years, and by learning from his patients themselves... Look into his work, learn from him, and you won't need to bother with most drugs.

Aug. 02 2013 01:57 PM
Dev from nj

I have had back pain. The 1st orthopedist said take 3 Ibuprofens 3 X/day. The 2nd ortodpede said take 3 Ibus PLUS three acetaminophens 3/times a day.

Today I have chronic Kidndy Disease the nephrologist thinks was caused by these NSAIDS.

I stopped taking all these pills immediately and went for Physical Therapy.

I still get pain. But it is nowhere as bad as when I was on the NSAIDs. I think after time they made it worse.

Accepting some pain and not running for a pill immediately has improved my life drastically.

Aug. 02 2013 01:55 PM
Richard from Bronx, NY

When you stop taking pain medication, will your tolerance to it return to normal?

Aug. 02 2013 01:54 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

It seems one commenter has already mistaken the guest for a medical professional.

Aug. 02 2013 01:53 PM
NinaB from NYC

It's amazing to me that people get high/addicted on Oxycodone. I've taken (legitimately - for pain) just 5mg (quartered a 20mg pill) and it has made me incredibly - scarily - ill for days.

Aug. 02 2013 01:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

On the current caller's comments about pain meds being sold by drug dealers & causing problems for people who genuinely need them, there's actually something called "pseudoaddiction," in which someone who really needs the medication for pain is denied it because the signs of pain resemble those of drug withdrawal & a health care provider thinks they're addicted.

Aug. 02 2013 01:53 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

'I don't have any recommendations' - If the guest is not a physician or pharmacist, I wish this would be made explicit.

Aug. 02 2013 01:51 PM
John A

I can't figure out Barry, when the pill is denied people, it's moralism, when it's provided and addiction results in the 20%, and lowered effectiveness for the rest, that rather proves the "moralistic" viewpoint, doesn't it?

Aug. 02 2013 01:48 PM
Brian from New Jersey

I've been taking Clonazepam and Tramadol for over 12 years. Please ask the doctor if either of these pills cause the lethargy he commented on.

Thank you.


Aug. 02 2013 01:45 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The other issue w/narcotics for pain relief in patients who are dying is that they may suppress breathing & cause patients to die sooner, which is more of an ethical problem than addiction in that group.

Aug. 02 2013 01:43 PM
antonio from baySide

Observation: I am a runner; I notice my recent chronic neck pain seems to get better with exercise. Is there any research in regards to 'bottle' or replicate that good feeling i get from the exercise?

And how close are we to regenerating those worn out joints, tissues etc. Or will we never get there because it would collapse big Pharma?

Aug. 02 2013 01:36 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

In my medical school, NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) was pronounced en-said (as in past tense of 'say'). Don't know why this reporter pronounces it en-SAYD.

Acetaminophen is Tylenol, not aspirin.

Aug. 02 2013 01:36 PM
Mary Ginsburg

An advantage of NSAIDs for such pain as arthritic and muscular is the anti-inflammatory effect, which is beneficial beyond the pain relief. This contrasts with stronger (codeine, for example) medications which may be better at pain relief but leave the joints/muscles stiff.
Please comment.

Aug. 02 2013 01:04 PM

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