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FDA Urges Tighter Controls on Certain Prescription Painkillers

Posted 25 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 24 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended tighter controls on prescriptions for painkillers such as Vicodin and Lortab that contain the powerful narcotic hydrocodone. The change will cut in half the number of refills that patients can get before seeing their doctor to get a new prescription, the agency said Thursday. Patients also will have to take a prescription to their pharmacy to have it filled, rather than have a doctor call it in. The FDA announced that it will also ask in mid-December that all prescription medications containing hydrocodone be reclassified as "Schedule II" medications. As Schedule II drugs, these painkillers will be subject to the same type of strict control as other narcotics with the highest potential for abuse, including OxyContin, methadone, fentanyl, Adderall and Ritalin. The FDA has been spurred to action by epidemic levels ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Hydromet, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES, Hycodan, Vicodin HP, Lorcet Plus, Anexsia, Lortab 10/500, Zutripro, Narcof, Lortab 5/500, Poly-Tussin, Hydrocodone/Ibuprofen

Longer Detox Might Work Better for Prescription Pain Med Addiction

Posted 23 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 – A longer period of detoxification may be more effective for people being treated for addiction to prescription painkillers called opioids, according to a small new study. Abuse of prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone is a major public health problem in the United States. The new 12-week study, which included 70 people undergoing outpatient treatment for opioid addiction, was published online Oct. 23 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. For the first two weeks, all the patients took buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. They were then randomly assigned to slowly reduce the dose of buprenorphine over one, two or four weeks, followed by treatment with naltrexone, a medication that blocks opioid strength. Patients in the four-week group were more likely to stop abusing opioids than those in the one-week or two-week ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta, MS Contin

Weight-Loss Surgery May Add to Painkiller Dependence, Study Says

Posted 2 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 – Obese people taking narcotics for chronic pain actually increased their use of prescription painkillers following bariatric surgery intended to reduce their weight and relieve their pain, a new study shows. Bariatric patients who already were chronic users of opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin increased their drug intake by 13 percent the first year after surgery and by 18 percent three years after, researchers report in the Oct. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Weight loss associated with procedures such as gastric bypass has been found to relieve chronic pain caused by the stress that extra pounds place on the knees, back and other joints. "Our premise was that because patients who are undergoing bariatric surgery were undergoing such dramatic weight loss, whatever chronic pain they were going through would be relieved and ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone

Opioids Not Winning the Battle Against Pain, Study Suggests

Posted 19 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 19 – Prescriptions for powerful opioid painkiller drugs have skyrocketed in the United States, but identification and treatment of pain has not improved, according to a new study. "There is an epidemic of prescription opioid addiction and abuse in the United States. We felt it was important to examine whether or not this epidemic has coincided with improved identification and treatment of pain," Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, an associate professor of epidemiology and medicine and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, said in a Hopkins news release. The researchers analyzed federal government data collected between 2000 and 2010, and found no significant change in the number of pain-related visits to doctors that resulted in patients receiving treatment with pain relievers. During the study period, prescriptions of non-opioid painkillers ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone

FDA Announces New Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 10 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring all extended-release, long-acting narcotic painkillers to carry revised warning labeling, the agency said Tuesday. One warning restricts the use of these painkillers to those who need daily, around-the-clock, long-term pain management and for whom non-narcotic drugs haven't worked. A second warning alerts pregnant women to the danger of narcotic withdrawal syndrome in their newborns. "Today FDA is announcing a set of significant measures to enhance the safe and appropriate use of extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in an afternoon press conference. Oxycontin, Opana ER, Embeda, Palladone and MS Contin fall into this class of drugs. The medications contain narcotics such as oxycodone or morphine. These "black box" warning changes will continue to ensure the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, Nucynta, MS Contin, Butrans

Some Painkillers Tied to Certain Birth Defects in Study

Posted 10 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 – Women taking prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet early in pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to babies with devastating neural tube defects such as spina bifida, a new study suggests. Despite the doubled risk, researchers described the escalation as "modest" since neural tube defects – which include those of the brain and spine – seldom occur. With study participants' use of prescription opioids, the risk of these birth defects translated to a prevalence of nearly six per 10,000 live births. "We want to keep in mind that major birth defects of any kind affect only 2 percent to 3 percent of live births, so the risks we've identified should be kept in perspective," said study author Mahsa Yazdy, a postdoctoral associate at Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. "Even though we found a doubling in the risk of neural tube ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Codeine, Roxicodone, Cheratussin AC, Hydromet, Vicoprofen, Tylenol with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Statuss, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES, Hycodan

Tylenol to Come With New Warning

Posted 4 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

September 3, 2013 – Caps on bottles of the popular pain reliever Tylenol that are sold in the United States will soon come with warnings alerting consumers to the potential for liver failure and even death, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The warning will state that Tylenol's active ingredient is acetaminophen, the nation's leading cause of sudden liver failure. The new cap is designed to alert consumers who may not read similar warnings that already appear in small print on the product's label, the AP said. In addition to Tylenol, acetaminophen is contained in more than 600 over-the-counter products used by nearly one in four American adults every week. Those other products include such popular brands as Nyquil cold formula, Excedrin pain tablets and Sudafed sinus pills, the AP reported. Tylenol's maker, Johnson & Johnson, said the warning will appear on the cap of each new ... Read more

Related support groups: Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Darvocet-N 100, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Ultracet, Tylenol with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Panadol, Lorcet 10/650, Coricidin, Vicodin ES, Excedrin Migraine

FDA Warns of Rare Skin Reactions to Acetaminophen

Posted 2 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 2 – The widely used painkiller acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, can cause rare but serious skin reactions and a warning about this danger will be added to product labels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. Acetaminophen is also often used in combination with other medicines, including opioids for pain and medicines to treat colds, coughs, allergy, headache and sleeping problems. According to the FDA, acetaminophen can trigger three serious skin reactions. Two of them – Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis – usually require hospitalization and can be lethal. The reactions usually begin with flu-like symptoms followed by rash, blistering and extensive damage to the skin surface. Recovery can take weeks or months, and possible complications include scarring, skin color changes, blindness and damage to internal organs. A third skin ... Read more

Related support groups: Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Darvocet-N 100, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Ultracet, Tylenol with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Panadol, Lorcet 10/650, Coricidin, Vicodin ES, Excedrin Migraine

FDA Medwatch Alert: Acetaminophen: Drug Safety Communication - Association with Risk of Serious Skin Reactions

Posted 1 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that acetaminophen has been associated with a risk of rare but serious skin reactions. Acetaminophen is a common active ingredient to treat pain and reduce fever; it is included in many prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products.  These skin reactions, known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), can be fatal. These reactions can occur with first-time use of acetaminophen or at any time while it is being taken.  Other drugs used to treat fever and pain/body aches (e.g., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen) also carry the risk of causing serious skin reactions, which is already described in the warnings section of their drug labels. BACKGROUND: This new information resulted from the Agency’s rev ... Read more

Related support groups: Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Darvocet-N 100, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Ultracet, Tylenol with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Panadol, Lorcet 10/650, Coricidin, Vicodin ES, Excedrin Migraine

Drug Addicts, Dealers Are 'Doctor Shopping' for Pain Pills

Posted 19 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 17 – One of every 50 prescriptions for addictive prescription painkillers in the United States is filled for so-called "doctor shoppers" who obtain the drugs for recreational use or resale on the street, a new study finds. Although doctor shoppers make up less than 1 percent of all patients who bought painkillers in 2008, they purchased an estimated 4.3 million prescriptions for opioid drugs such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, the researchers found. That amounts to about 4 percent of all of this class of narcotic sold by weight that year. "There's a hole in our prescription control system in the United States," concluded study co-author Douglas McDonald, a researcher with Abt Associates Inc., a think-tank located in Cambridge, Mass. "Lacking a universal health record, doctors have to rely on what patients tell them about what they've been prescribed by other doctors." That ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans

Tylenol-Induced Liver Failure Presents Own Set of Problems: Study

Posted 19 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 17 – People with liver failure caused by an overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) have poorer health than patients whose liver failure was caused by other problems, a new study finds. They reported more days of poor mental and physical health, activity limitations because of poor health, pain, anxiety and depression than other liver failure patients, U.S. researchers found. Acetaminophen-overdose patients also had higher rates of substance abuse and psychiatric disease than other liver failure patients, the study found. And patients who suffered an accidental acetaminophen overdose were less likely to have psychiatric disorders than those who intentionally overdosed, 48 percent versus 82 percent. For the study, published online in the journal Liver Transplantation, the researchers analyzed data from more than 280 patients who were diagnosed with acute liver failure ... Read more

Related support groups: Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Darvocet-N 100, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, NyQuil, Ultracet, Tylenol with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Panadol, Lorcet 10/650, Coricidin, Vicodin ES, Excedrin Migraine

Sharp Rise in Drug Overdoses Among U.S. Women: CDC

Posted 2 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 2 – The rate of fatal overdoses of prescription painkillers and other drugs among U.S. women quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, federal officials reported Tuesday. Long thought of as primarily a male problem, drug addiction is increasingly affecting women, and the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 42 women in the United States die each day from prescription drug overdoses. "Prescription drug overdose deaths have skyrocketed in women," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said during a noon press conference. "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying from overdoses at rates we have never seen before." The CDC said that nearly 48,000 women died of overdoses from any form of prescribed drug between 1999 and 2010. The annual death rate for women from drug overdoses now surpasses that of car crash deaths, the agency said. Emergency ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone

7 out of 10 Americans Take a Prescription Drug: Study

Posted 27 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 27 – Nearly 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs, with antibiotics, antidepressants and painkillers being the most widely used, according to a new study. Researchers also found that more than half of patients take two prescription drugs, while 20 percent take five or more prescription medications. One other key finding: "As you get older you tend to get more prescriptions, and women tend to get more prescriptions than men," study author Dr. Jennifer St. Sauver, of the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, said in a Mayo news release. The findings come from an analysis of 2009 statistics from people living in Olmsted County, Minn., near the Mayo Clinic. St. Sauver believes the findings are comparable to people living elsewhere in the United States. According to the study, 17 percent of patients took antibiotics, 13 percent took ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Effexor, Morphine, Prozac, Celexa, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Paxil, Codeine, Opana, Citalopram

More Kids Being Poisoned by Prescription Drugs: Study

Posted 3 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 3 – As the number of adults taking prescription drugs has grown, so has the number of children being accidentally poisoned by them, a new study finds. "We found between 2000 and 2009 [that] rates of pediatric exposure to adult medications were increasing," said lead researcher Dr. Lindsey Burghardt, from the division of emergency medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. In addition, there was an association between the number of prescriptions written for these medications for adults and the increase in the number of children being poisoned by them, she said. "This is the first step, to identify the extent of the problem," Burghardt said. "Despite all these precautions that have been put in place to try to prevent these poisonings in kids the problem persists," she said. "In fact, the number of poisonings has been increasing." The next step is to try to identify why this is ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone

Erectile Dysfunction Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men

Posted 15 May 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 15 – If you're a man, the pain-killing medications known as opioids may do more than relieve pain – they may also put a damper on your sex life. A new study found that men who were prescribed medications for erectile dysfunction or low testosterone levels were more likely to be taking opioid (narcotic) medications for chronic back pain. "People who have persistent pain problems need to know that a potential side effect of long-term opioid use may be erectile dysfunction," said lead study author Dr. Richard Deyo, a clinical investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. "This is not a well-known potential side effect among patients, and it should be considered when thinking about treatment." Deyo also noted, however, that "the nature of this study as an observational study limits our ability to make a causal [cause-and-effect] ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Erectile Dysfunction, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin

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