Health Advice



Acute pain medication regimen reduces opioid use and pain too

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In 1834, Richard Henry Dana Jr. took a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California and chronicled it in his book "Two Years Before the Mast," revealing the hardships and pain of the daring adventure.

Today, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are revealing the incredible benefits of their MAST regimen, designed to manage acute pain (say, post-surgery) while reducing the use of opioids.

Their study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that using oral acetaminophen along with naproxen, gabapentin (the only drug that required a prescription) and lidocaine patches was an effective pain management approach. If there was breakthrough pain, then oxycodone, an opioid, was used. This significantly reduced the amount of opioids given to patients while in the hospital and reduced by 5% the number of opioid prescriptions provided when they headed home. (At the Cleveland Clinic, an unpublished study found alternative pain relief approaches can reduce opioid prescriptions by as much as 35%.)

While opioids are often needed and effective, it's smart to limit their use whenever possible. Fortunately, MAST reduces opioid-associated risks (including gastrointestinal complications and dependency) while taking care of severe, acute pain.

So if you are going in for surgery or end up in the ER because of an accident, ask about this new approach to pain management. You can be the MASTer of your treatment. And if you do take opioids for a short time, use a pain management specialist to oversee prescriptions and doses.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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