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Morphine After Tonsillectomy Tied to Breathing Problems in Study

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 – Using morphine at home to treat pain in children after tonsil and/or adenoid removal may cause life-threatening respiratory problems, according to a new study. "The evidence here clearly suggests children with obstructive sleep apnea should not be given morphine for postoperative pain. We already know that they should not get codeine either," Dr. Gideon Koren, one of the study's authors and a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said in a McMaster University news release. "The good news is that we now have evidence that indicates ibuprofen [Motrin, Advil] is safe for these kids, and is just as effective in controlling their pain, so there's a good alternative available for clinicians to prescribe," he added. In recent years, many doctors began prescribing morphine to young tonsillectomy patients after Canadian and U.S. health officials ... Read more

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Many Women of Childbearing Age Take Narcotic Painkillers: CDC

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 – Too many women of childbearing age take narcotic painkillers, putting any unborn babies at risk, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Thirty-nine percent of females aged 15 to 44 who were enrolled in Medicaid filled a prescription for a narcotic painkiller each year from 2008 to 2012, says a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among privately insured women, that rate was 28 percent. "We are concerned because we know that 50 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned," said CDC epidemiologist Jennifer Lind. Using narcotic painkillers in early pregnancy can increase the risk for certain birth defects, including spina bifida (a defect of the spine), gastroschisis (a defect of the abdominal wall) and heart defects, Lind said. These drugs also have been linked with preterm birth, she said. In addition, infants ... Read more

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U.S. Painkiller Abuse 'Epidemic' May Be Declining, Study Says

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 – The U.S. "epidemic" of prescription-painkiller abuse may be starting to reverse course, a new study suggests. Experts said the findings, published Jan. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are welcome news. The decline suggests that recent laws and prescribing guidelines aimed at preventing painkiller abuse are working to some degree. But researchers also found a disturbing trend: Heroin abuse and overdoses are on the rise, and that may be one reason prescription-drug abuse is down. "Some people are switching from painkillers to heroin," said Dr. Adam Bisaga, an addiction psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. While the dip in painkiller abuse is good news, more "global efforts" – including better access to addiction treatment – are needed, said Bisaga, who was not involved in the study. "You can't get rid of ... Read more

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Drug Interactions Common Among Hospitalized Kids, Study Says

Posted 15 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 – When children land in the hospital, they are often given multiple drugs that could interact with each other in potentially harmful ways, a study of U.S. hospitals finds. Researchers found that among nearly 500,000 children and teenagers who were hospitalized in 2011, nearly half were given combinations of drugs that could have potential interactions. Those interactions could potentially boost the risk of side effects, like sedation or breathing suppression. But the bigger concern may be that one drug could reduce the effectiveness of another, said senior researcher Dr. Chris Feudtner, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. However, Feudtner stressed that while the study found many cases of potential drug interactions, it's not clear how often children were actually harmed. "I don't want parents of hospitalized children to think they shouldn't get any ... Read more

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U.S. Doctors Cutting Back on Painkiller Prescriptions: Study

Posted 8 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 8, 2014 – Nine out of 10 primary care doctors in the United States are concerned about prescription drug abuse in their communities, a new study finds. And, nearly half of the physicians surveyed said they were less likely to prescribe powerful painkillers than they were just a year ago. Researchers surveyed 580 internists, family doctors and general practitioners across the country. They found that 85 percent of doctors believe that narcotic painkillers (opioids such as Oxycontin) are overused in clinical practice. Around half of those surveyed said they were "very concerned" about risks such as addiction, death and traffic crashes associated with narcotic painkiller overuse. Almost two-thirds of the doctors believe that tolerance to the drugs occurs often. Just over half believe that physical dependence is a common problem. And, the doctors said these issues can happen ... Read more

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Fatal ODs From Narcotic Painkillers Have Tripled in U.S.

Posted 2 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – The epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse continues to take a deadly toll in the United States, with fatal overdoses involving drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin tripling over a decade, a new report shows. Deaths from another form of opiate, heroin, also nearly tripled between 1999 and 2012, according to the report released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was one glimmer of hope, however: In the last year of the study, 2011-2012, the CDC noted a 5 percent drop in prescription painkiller deaths, the first such decline ever. The numbers echo similar findings released by the CDC in September. That report covered the years 1999 to 2011, and found steady year-by-year increases in overdose deaths linked to narcotic painkillers. However, there was one sign of hope in that study, too. "Although the rate [of fatal overdoses] is ... Read more

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Number of Pregnant Women on Narcotic Painkillers, Heroin Doubles, Study Finds

Posted 18 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 18, 2014 – The proportion of women dependent on drugs such as narcotic painkillers or heroin during pregnancy has more than doubled in the past decade and a half, a new study finds, though it still remains below a half-percent of all pregnancies. The study covers a class of drugs known as opioids, which include prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and Vicodin; morphine and methadone; as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. Dependence on these drugs during pregnancy is linked to several increased risks during delivery, even when compared to women abusing or dependent on non-opiate drugs, explained study senior author Dr. Lisa Leffert, chief of the Obstetric Anesthesia Division at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Over recent years, experts have noted an alarming rise across the United States in abuse of narcotic prescription painkillers. "This ... Read more

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Prescription Painkillers Fueling Overdose Cases in ERs, Study Finds

Posted 27 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 – A new report estimates more than two-thirds of emergency department visits for overdoses of narcotic drugs involve prescription medications. The researchers launched their research to better understand why people overdose on narcotics, a class of medications that includes illegal drugs like heroin along with prescription painkillers like Percocet and Oxycontin. Such overdoses can end in death. Study author Michael Yokell, medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine, and his colleagues reached their conclusion by analyzing tens of thousands of reports of narcotic overdoses from a sample of nationwide emergency room visits from 2010. Almost 68 percent of the overdoses involved prescription drugs. That number may be higher since the drugs were unspecified in 13 percent of cases, and multiple narcotics were involved in 3 percent of cases in the study. ... Read more

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For a Child's Fracture, Use Ibuprofen, Not Morphine: Study

Posted 27 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2014 – For children with broken bones, ibuprofen is a better choice for pain relief than morphine, researchers report. Although both medications are effective in easing the pain associated with these injuries, oral morphine carries more risk for negative side effects, Canadian researchers found. "Evidence suggests that orally administered morphine and other [narcotic painkillers] are increasingly being prescribed," the researchers wrote. "However, evidence for the oral administration of morphine in acute pain management is limited. Thus, additional studies are needed to address this gap in knowledge and provide a scientific basis for outpatient analgesic choices in children." Broken bones account for up to one-quarter of all injuries involving children, the researchers said. The first two days after this type of injury are the most painful. Children have limited ... Read more

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Most Who Abuse Painkillers Are Unprepared If Overdose Strikes: Study

Posted 2 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 2, 2014 – Although teens and young adults who abuse prescription painkillers face a high risk of overdose, most don't know how to respond when one occurs, new research shows. At issue is the increasingly popular, non-medicinal use of legal prescription narcotic pain medications, including so-called "opioids" such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Such drugs can substantially slow or even halt the ability to breath, sometimes leading to death. And while safe and effective interventions are available (including the prescription medication naloxone), the new study found that most narcotic abusers are unaware of their options. "What we found is that when it comes to how to handle an overdose, prescription opioid users who weren't using drugs for official medical reasons were less savvy than, say, more traditional heroin-using populations," said study author David Frank, a doctoral ... Read more

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Doctors' Group Issues Painkiller Guidelines

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 – The risks of powerful narcotic painkillers outweigh their benefits for treating chronic headaches, low back pain and fibromyalgia, a new statement from the American Academy of Neurology says. Narcotic, or opioid, painkillers include medications such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone (Oxycontin), methadone, fentanyl, hydrocodone or a combination of the drugs with acetaminophen. The drugs can cause serious side effects, overdose, addiction and death. Research shows that 50 percent of patients who took opioids for at least three months are still on them five years later, according to the academy. Studies find that while opioids may provide short-term pain relief, there is no proof that they maintain pain relief or improve patients' ability to function over long periods of time without a serious risk of overdose, dependence or addiction, the statement says. "More ... Read more

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Deaths From Narcotic Painkillers Quadrupled in Past Decade: CDC

Posted 16 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 – The number of Americans dying from accidental overdoses of narcotic painkillers jumped significantly from 1999 to 2011, federal health officials reported Tuesday. Deaths from overdoses of drugs such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and oxycodone (Oxycontin) climbed from 1.4 per 100,000 people to 5.4 per 100,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means about 3,000 people died in 1999 from unintentional overdoses. By 2011, that number was up to nearly 12,000 deaths, the report said. Despite the rising number of deaths, the rate of the increase has actually slowed since 2006, according to report co-author Dr. Holly Hedegaard. She's an epidemiologist at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). "Although the rate is still increasing, it is not increasing quite as fast as it did between 2000 and 2006," Hedegaard ... Read more

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Movantik Approved for Constipation From Opioids

Posted 16 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 16, 2014 – Movantik (naloxegol) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid-induced constipation, the agency said Tuesday. Opioids are powerful painkillers that commonly cause constipation. Movantik's safety and effectiveness to treat the problem were evaluated in two clinical studies involving 1,352 people who had taken opioids for at least four weeks for non-cancer related pain. The most common side effects of Movantik were abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache and excessive gas, the FDA said in a news release. Manufacturer AstraZeneca will be required to do an additional study to further evaluate the drug's cardiovascular safety, the agency added. AstraZeneca is based in Wilmington, Del. More information Visit the FDA to learn more. Read more

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Small Number of Drugs Behind Kids' Accidental Poisonings: CDC

Posted 15 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 15, 2014 – A relatively small number of medications are responsible for sending thousands of young children to the hospital for accidental ingestion, a U.S. government study finds. Each year between 2007 and 2011, about 9,500 U.S. children younger than 6 years were hospitalized after getting a hold of family members' medication, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Three-quarters of those children were just 1 or 2 years old," said Dr. Daniel Budnitz, director of the CDC's medication safety program. That's important information for parents, he said, since it shows which youngsters are most at risk of accidental drug ingestion. The findings, published online Sept. 15 in Pediatrics, also pinpoint the drugs most often behind young children's hospitalizations. Among the top culprits were narcotic (opioid) painkillers – such as Oxycontin, Percocet ... Read more

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'Doctor-Shopping' for Painkillers Common After Broken-Bone Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 29 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 – About one in five patients operated on for broken bones or other orthopedic trauma shops around for additional painkillers after surgery, a new study finds. Less-educated patients and patients who had used narcotic painkillers previously were several times more likely to be "doctor shoppers," said study lead author Dr. Brent Morris, a shoulder and neck surgeon in Lexington, Ky. Overall, he said, the study suggests that doctors aren't talking to one another about the painkiller needs of their patients. "There needs to be coordination if additional pain medications are needed," he said. "Patients should not be receiving multiple narcotic pain medication prescriptions from multiple providers without coordinating with their treating surgeon." Use of narcotic painkillers for nonmedical purposes is a serious concern in the United States. Unintentional overdose deaths ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Surgery, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta

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