Harvard Heart Letter

Correction and Clarification

Correction and Clarification

Our article "Yellow light on pain relievers" in the June 2007 issue inaccurately listed Actiq as a pain reliever for people with heart disease. The drug is approved only for breakthrough cancer pain.

Arnold Robbins, M.D., a psychiatrist in Cambridge, Mass., took exception to the American Heart Association's recommendation of narcotics as an option for pain relief, given their potential for addiction. "The rule for opiates is to recommend them rarely and only as a last resort and only to patients you feel you know and understand," Dr. Robbins wrote us. In other words, narcotic pain relievers should be used only in special cases.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »