Narcotics tend to be the standard treatment for managing postoperative pain after major operations, but they come with many possible side effects, including the potential for drug dependency. However, new research could reduce or eliminate the need for narcotic medication in post-op pain management.
Researchers at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have developed a method to deliver lidocaine (a drug that usually has short-lived effects) in a way that will prolong the therapeutic effects of the drug. When combined with daily NSAIDs, studies in rats showed that the combination therapy was as effective as daily treatment with narcotics- without the undesirable side effects! While further research is necessary, this could be a great solution for post-operative pain management in both humans and animals!