Chronic Opioid Therapy Risks Hypopituitarism

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According to findings reported at an Endocrine Society meeting at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, chronic opioid therapy greatly increases the risk for several hormonal deficiencies. The 25 patients enrolled in the study had on average 1.68 disorders associated with hypopituitarism. 16 of the patients had hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism and 10 patients had a hormone deficiency and an adrenal insufficiency. Approximately half of the patients possessed combined deficiencies. According to Murray Gordon, MD, of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, “Patients treated with chronic opioid therapy should be thoroughly evaluated for hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction… [however] larger prospective studies are required to confirm these findings. The effects of treatments need to be assessed in patients with hypopituitarism associated with chronic use of opioids.” Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses the study more.

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