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Ex-NFL Star Helps Spread the Word on Risks Posed by Painkillers

Posted 30 Oct 2015 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2015 – During his 12 seasons as a fullback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-foot-1, 250-pound Mike Alstott was known as "The A-Train" – a punishing runner and blocker and fan favorite. From 1996 to 2007, Alstott racked up an impressive National Football League resume: 5,088 yards rushing; 71 touchdowns (the most in team history); six Pro Bowls; and a Super Bowl championship ring in 2002. But the awards and accolades came with a price that's very familiar to many Americans: debilitating aches and injuries and a whole lot of pain medication. "One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain," said Dr. Anita Gupta, associate professor of anesthesiology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. "It's a really staggering figure that's been rising year after year, so that today there are more people struggling with pain than with heart disease, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

Narcotic Painkiller Use in Adolescence May Raise Risk of Adult Addiction

Posted 28 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2015 – Teens who are given prescription narcotic painkillers may run a higher risk of abusing narcotics after high school, a new study suggests. Researchers said teen painkiller use was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of later abuse. And it was seen mostly among those with little to no history of drug use and those who strongly disapproved of illegal drug use. "A prescription for a pain reliever can put adolescents at risk for future pain reliever misuse," said study author Richard Miech, a research professor at the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For the study, Miech and his colleagues used data that tracked more than 6,200 high school seniors until they were 23. At first glance, it seems counterintuitive that the increased risk was concentrated among teens who had little experience with illegal drugs, Miech ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain

Medical Marijuana Seems Safe for Chronic Pain Patients, Study Finds

Posted 7 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 – Medical marijuana appears mostly safe for treating chronic pain, at least among people with some experience using the drug, a new study suggests. People who used pot to ease their pain didn't have an increased risk of serious side effects, compared to people with pain who didn't use marijuana, a Canadian research team found. But, medical marijuana users were more likely to have less-serious side effects, the study authors said. These side effects included headache, nausea, sleepiness and dizziness, the research revealed. "In terms of a side effect profile, we felt the drug had a reasonably good safety profile, if you compare those effects to other medications," said study lead author Dr. Mark Ware. He is director of clinical research for the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at McGill University Health Center in Montreal. Although this study focused on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Breakthrough Pain, Cannabis

Back Pain Patients Seek Pain Relief First, Mobility Second

Posted 21 Sep 2015 by

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015 – Pain relief is a greater concern than mobility for people with a common form of lower back pain known as lumbar spinal stenosis, a new study indicates. When asked to choose between a treatment that would reduce discomfort and one that would help them stand and walk, the vast majority of patients wanted to ease their pain, the researchers found. "There has long been a debate in the medical community over striking the right balance between pain relief and physical function," said the study's lead author, Dr. John Markman, director of the Translational Pain Research Program in the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery in Rochester, N.Y. "While physicians have leaned toward the need to increase mobility, this study shows that patients have a clear preference for pain relief," Markman said in a university news release. The researchers explained that ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Morphine, Fentanyl, Codeine, Opana, Tylenol, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Dilaudid, Meloxicam, Opana ER, Acetaminophen

25 Million U.S. Adults Struggle With Daily Pain

Posted 18 Aug 2015 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2015 – Pain is widespread in much of America, with more than 25 million adults – 11 percent – suffering on a daily basis, a new national survey reveals. And approximately 14 million adults – roughly 6.4 percent – experience severe pain, which can be associated with poorer health and disability, researchers found. Other national studies of chronic pain have yielded similar results, said study author Richard Nahin, an epidemiologist with the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). "What makes this study unique is that I also looked at how often adults have mild pain," he said. Nahin found that about 54 million adults – nearly one-quarter – reported "mild," but not incapacitating, pain. Whether pain is increasing nationally is difficult to say, Nahin said. But the good news is that roughly half of ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Fibromyalgia, Back Pain, Muscle Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Neck Pain, Knee Joint Replacement, Neuropathic Pain, Scoliosis, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, Breakthrough Pain, Frozen Shoulder, Pain/Fever, Postoperative Pain, Somatoform Pain Disorder

Florida Laws May Help Lower Abuse of Prescription Painkillers

Posted 17 Aug 2015 by

MONDAY, Aug. 17, 2015 – New legislation designed to rein in prescription narcotic abuse in the state of Florida has prompted a small, but quick decrease in narcotic painkiller prescriptions, a new investigation reveals. About a year after the laws were enacted, Florida saw total prescriptions for the narcotic painkillers called opioids drop by 1.4 percent, the study found. Researchers also discovered a 2.5 percent decrease in the total of opioid volume that was dispensed. What's more, significant falloff was seen among patients and dispensaries that had been at the highest end of the prescribing spectrum, the study noted. "There are no magic bullets when it comes to the opioid epidemic," acknowledged study lead author Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the John Hopkins Center of Drug Safety and Effectiveness in Baltimore. "The problem is huge. America is just 5 percent of the world's ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Yeast's New Use: Making Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 13 Aug 2015 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 13, 2015 – Scientists say they have genetically engineered baker's yeast to create powerful narcotic painkillers. The painkillers in question are called opioids, and include opiate-containing medicines such as morphine, Oxycontin and Vicodin, most commonly sourced from the opium poppy. But the new technology might bypass the poppy, leading to faster and possibly cheaper methods of creating many types of plant-based medicines, according to the Stanford University team. "This is only the beginning," said study senior author Christina Smolke, an associate professor of bioengineering. "The techniques we developed and demonstrate for opioid [narcotic] pain relievers can be adapted to produce many plant-derived compounds to fight cancers, infectious diseases and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and arthritis." The finding does have a potential downside, however: ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Many Don't Tell Docs About Using Alternative Therapies for Pain

Posted 20 Jul 2015 by

MONDAY, July 20, 2015 – Many Americans with chronic pain who use alternative therapies – such as acupuncture – don't discuss these treatments with their doctors, a new study finds. "Our study confirms that most of our patients with chronic pain are seeking complementary treatments to supplement the care we provide in the primary care setting," lead author Dr. Charles Elder, an affiliate investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, said in a Kaiser news release. Elder is also the physician lead for Kaiser Permanente's complementary and alternative medicine program. The researchers surveyed more than 6,000 patients in Oregon and Washington. All of the study volunteers had three or more outpatient visits for chronic pain within 18 months. Fifty-eight percent of people with chronic pain had used chiropractic care, acupuncture or both to treat their pain, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Breakthrough Pain

Back Pain and Depression Combo Lessens Pain Relief from Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 9 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – For people with chronic back pain who also have depression or anxiety, narcotic painkillers may not be the best therapy for their pain, a new study finds. "A lot of patients have depression and anxiety on top of their back pain," said lead researcher Dr. Ajay Wasan, a professor of anesthesiology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Pain can make depression and anxiety worse and depression and anxiety can make pain worse, Wasan said. "It's a two-way street." But, he added, people with depression or anxiety may get a lot less pain relief from narcotic painkillers and have a higher rate of misuse of their medications. Wasan said misuse includes taking too many pills and running out of medication early, doctor shopping – getting prescriptions for the same drug from several doctors – and using marijuana or cocaine along with narcotic ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Anxiety and Stress, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain

Painkiller Overdoses Often Involve 'Pharmacy Shopping'

Posted 8 Jul 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 – Nearly half of all deaths resulting from an overdose of narcotic painkillers involved Medicaid recipients who used multiple pharmacies to fill their prescriptions, a new study finds. "Pharmacy shopping," or the use of multiple pharmacies at the same time, is a way some patients obtain more medication than they need. Medicaid programs in many states track the number of pharmacies patients visit to prevent such abuse of painkillers, the study authors said. It's unclear, however, how many pharmacies must be visited or how much time should lapse between prescriptions to identify patients engaging in pharmacy shopping with the intent to misuse their medication. Some patients, the study authors pointed out, may legitimately use more than one pharmacy if they move, travel or make a change in their insurance coverage. To investigate this issue, researchers examined ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Steroids No Better for Sciatica Pain Than Placebo, Study Finds

Posted 19 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – Doctors often prescribe steroid pills to ease the discomfort of sciatica – back and leg pain usually caused by a herniated disk in the lower back. But a new study finds steroids are no more effective than a placebo pill for the pain and provide only modest improvement in function. Sciatica affects about one in 10 people in their lifetime, the researchers said. For this study, 269 people with sciatica were randomly assigned to take an oral steroid (prednisone) or a placebo (a dummy medication) for 15 days. The participants were followed for up to a year. "When we compared the prednisone to placebo, there was a modest improvement in function," said study researcher Dr. Harley Goldberg, director of spine care services at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in California. People reported they could go about their daily activities somewhat better than before. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Prednisone, Chronic Pain, Neuralgia, Methylprednisolone, Sciatica, Prednisolone, Medrol, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone, Cortisone, Triamcinolone, Neuropathic Pain, Betamethasone, Budesonide, Decadron, Entocort, Solu-Medrol, Breakthrough Pain

Insomniacs May Be More Sensitive to Pain

Posted 12 May 2015 by

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – People with insomnia or poor sleep quality may be less tolerant of pain, new research suggests. The more frequent and severe the insomnia, the greater the sensitivity to pain, the Norwegian study showed. Additionally, the researchers noted that people with insomnia who also suffer from chronic pain have an even lower threshold for physical discomfort. It's important to note, however, that while the study found an association between a lack of quality sleep and increased pain sensitivity, it wasn't designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship. The study, led by Borge Sivertsen, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Bergen, involved more than 10,000 adults. The study participants all underwent a standard test of pain sensitivity by dunking their hands in a bath of cold water for 106 seconds. The volunteers were also asked about their sleep quality. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Headache, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Sleep Disorders, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Insomnia, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Tylenol

Spinal Stimulation System Relieves Pain Without Tingling

Posted 11 May 2015 by

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – The Senza spinal cord stimulation system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic back pain without the tingling sensation that characterizes more traditional pain-relieving methods. The implanted device uses high-frequency stimulation to avoid the tingling sensation known as "paresthesia," the agency said in a news release. Spinal pain could be characterized by conditions including failed back surgery syndrome, low back pain and leg pain. Before treatment with Senza begins, potential users are treated with a trial system for a week or two, the FDA said. Once a physician determines that the trial device has worked, patients have minimally invasive surgery to implant Senza in the upper buttocks or abdomen. The device includes a patient-operated remote control. Senza's safety and effectiveness were clinically evaluated in a study ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Back Pain, OxyContin, Tramadol, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

Cancer Doctors Still Not Great With Patients' Pain

Posted 17 Nov 2011 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 17 – Oncologists think they are good at managing cancer patients' pain, but a new survey shows otherwise. In response to two hypothetical vignettes describing a cancer patient who was suffering from pain, the majority of oncologists offered up a treatment plan that pain specialists would consider "unacceptable." "There are serious deficiencies in oncologists' knowledge of cancer pain management," said study author Brenda Breuer, director of epidemiologic research in the department of pain medicine and palliative care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. The study appears in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Depending on the type of cancer and how advanced it is, anywhere from 14 percent to 100 percent of cancer patients experience pain, according to background information in the study. In recent years, there's been a growing understanding ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Cancer, Breakthrough Pain

Lazanda Approved for Cancer Pain

Posted 5 Jul 2011 by

FRIDAY, July 1 – Lazanda (fentanyl) nasal spray has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat breakthrough pain in adults with cancer who are already receiving opioid therapy, drug maker Archimedes Pharma said. Breakthrough pain occurs as an intense, unpredictable burst among people who are already receiving therapy for chronic pain. Lazanda is the first nasal spray containing the commonly prescribed opioid painkiller fentanyl, the company said in a news release. Lazanda is available in five European countries under the brand name PecFent. Lazanda will be prescribed under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program to minimize instances of abuse and addiction, the drug maker said. The program requires pharmacies, distributors and doctors who prescribe the medication to enroll. The drug's safety and effectiveness were established in clinical studies ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Duragesic, Actiq, Breakthrough Pain, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Duragesic-12, Sublimaze, Abstral, Duragesic-75, Ionsys, Onsolis

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