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Painkiller Addiction Relapse More Likely for Some

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 – Certain factors can help health care professionals predict who might relapse during treatment for prescription opioid painkiller addiction, Canadian researchers report. Opioid abuse is a serious problem in Canada and the United States, the researchers said. Methadone treatment is the most common therapy. But, nearly half of patients continue to abuse opioids during or after methadone treatment, researchers noted. Opioid painkillers include such drugs as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. "We can improve our tailoring of treatment to each patient if we know who among patients taking methadone treatment is at high risk for opioid relapse," said principal author Dr. Zena Samaan. Samaan is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. "As well, health care providers can target more aggressive therapies ... Read more

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

Nearly All U.S. Doctors 'Overprescribe' Addictive Narcotic Painkillers: Survey

Posted 28 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 25, 2016 – When American doctors give their patients narcotic painkillers, 99 percent of them hand out prescriptions that exceed the federally recommended three-day dosage limit, new research suggests. And some doctors exceeded that limit by a lot: Nearly one-quarter gave out month-long dosages, despite the fact that research has shown that a month's use of prescription narcotic painkillers can cause brain changes, the National Safety Council survey found. "Opioids do not kill pain. They kill people," Dr. Donald Teater, a medical advisor at the safety council, said in a news release. "Doctors are well-intentioned and want to help their patients, but these findings are further proof that we need more education and training if we want to treat pain most effectively." The problem has reached the point where these highly addictive painkillers, which include commonly ... Read more

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

FDA Medwatch Alert: Opioid Pain Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - New Safety Warnings Added to Prescription Opioid Medications

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is warning about several safety issues with the entire class of opioid pain medicines. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for a complete listing. These safety risks are potentially harmful interactions with numerous other medications, problems with the adrenal glands, and decreased sex hormone levels. We are requiring changes to the labels of all opioid drugs to warn about these risks. Opioids can interact with antidepressants and migraine medicines to cause a serious central nervous system reaction called serotonin syndrome, in which high levels of the chemical serotonin build up in the brain and cause toxicity (see List of Serotonergic Medicines in the FDA Drug Safety Communication). Cases of serotonin syndrome in the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database were reported more frequently with the opioids fentanyl and methadone used at the recommended doses. T ... Read more

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

FDA announces enhanced warnings for immediate-release opioid pain medications related to risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

March 22, 2016 – In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death. Today’s actions are among a number of steps the agency recently outlined in a plan to reassess its approach to opioid medications. The plan is focused on policies aimed at reversing the epidemic, while still providing patients in pain access to effective relief. The FDA is also requiring several additional safety labeling changes across all prescription opioid products to include additional information on the risk of these medications. This is part of the agency’s overall effort to hel ... Read more

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

Potentially Deadly Painkiller Being Disguised as Less Powerful Drugs

Posted 1 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

Officials across the United States say they are seeing a growing number of cases where the potent painkiller fentanyl is disguised as less powerful pain drugs. In recent months, there have been two dozen cases of fentanyl marked as oxycodone or Percocet, according to Tennessee authorities, the Associated Press reported. Last summer, the San Francisco health department said several overdoses were caused by tablets that were labeled as Xanax but contained fentanyl. In Cleveland, a man was arrested after federal agents seized more than 900 fentanyl pills marked as oxycodone. And in Canada, officals have issued warnings about recent cases of supposed oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl. "These pills are truly a fatal overdose waiting to happen," Carole Rendon, acting U.S. attorney in Cleveland, told the AP. Fentanyl is cheap to make illegally, so dealers can make more money by ... Read more

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

Fatal Overdoses Rising From Sedatives Like Valium, Xanax

Posted 19 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 – While deaths from overdoses of heroin and narcotic painkillers like Oxycontin have surged in recent years, a new report finds the same thing is happening with widely used sedatives such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan. In 2013, overdoses from these drugs, called benzodiazepines, accounted for 31 percent of the nearly 23,000 deaths from prescription drug overdoses in the United States, researchers said. "As more benzodiazepines were prescribed, more people have died from overdoses involving these drugs," said study author Dr. Joanna Starrels, an associate professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "In 2013, more than 5 percent of American adults filled prescriptions for benzodiazepines," she said. "And the overdose death rate increased more than four times from 1996 to 2013." This epidemic hasn't received the attention it ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Dilaudid, Diazepam, Heroin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Morphine Sulfate 0.5 mg/mL Preservative Free in 0.9 percent Sodium Chloride by by Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals: Recall - Super-potent Product

Posted 18 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is alerting health care professionals of a voluntary recall of morphine sulfate 0.5 mg/mL preservative free in 0.9% sodium chloride, 1 mL syringe, CII, for intravenous use made and distributed by Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals, in Noblesville, Indiana, because the product is super-potent. Pharmakon initiated the voluntary recall on February 11, 2016, after receiving laboratory results showing the product was super-potent. On February 16, 2016, FDA was alerted of serious adverse events in three infants associated with the use of the recalled morphine sulfate products from Pharmakon. Injecting a patient with super-potent morphine could result in serious consequences including respiratory depression, coma, and death. BACKGROUND: The recalled product was made on February 3, 2016, with an expiration date of March 19, 2016, and labeled with lot E52418EV11C and NDC 45183-0322-78. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Morphine, MS Contin, Kadian, Avinza, M O S, Opioid Overdose, MSIR, Roxanol, Morphine IR, MS/S, Statex, Oramorph SR, M-Eslon, Morphine Sulfate SR, Morphine LP Epidural, MorphaBond, Roxanol-T, Astramorph PF, Doloral

Painkillers Don't Ease Disability Due to Nerve Damage: Study

Posted 1 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 – Taking prescription narcotic painkillers doesn't improve movement or reduce disability in people with pain related to nerve damage, researchers have found. "Even though [narcotic] medications can be a powerful pain killer, it does not necessarily mean improved function will follow. Pain is not the only factor in determining function," study lead author and pain expert Geoff Bostick, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release. The research included almost 800 patients with pain due to nerve damage, from causes such as diabetes and pinched nerves. Some were prescribed narcotic painkillers – such as morphine, codeine and Tylenol 3 – while others didn't receive the drugs. At 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, those who took the painkillers didn't show greater improvements in movement and ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Fibromyalgia, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Tylenol, Chronic Pain, Subutex, Neuralgia

Many Chronic Pain Sufferers May Overuse Nonprescription Painkillers

Posted 26 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Many people with chronic pain ignore dosing instructions on over-the-counter pain medicines and put themselves at risk for an overdose, a new survey suggests. An overdose of these medicines can result in serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, ulcers, liver damage and even death, according to the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). The AGA-commissioned poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults aged 30 and older and 251 gastroenterologists found that 43 percent of chronic pain sufferers said they knowingly have taken more than the recommended dose of an over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine at some point. Common types of OTC pain medicines include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. "Pain is incredibly personal, but taking more than the recommended ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Aspirin, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Tylenol, Muscle Pain, Chronic Pain

Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Adverse Drug Reactions

Posted 20 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may be available without a prescription, but that doesn't mean they don't come with potential risks. Here's advice on how to reduce your risk of adverse effects from OTC meds, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians: Only take an OTC medication if you really need it. Check with your doctor before you take such medication. Read product labels to understand the ingredients, risks and how the medication works. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions. Take the medications exactly as instructed with any supplied measuring device. Never mix a medication into food or drink unless the pharmacist or doctor says it's OK. Never take a medication with alcohol. If you take vitamins, don't take them at the same time as a medication. Make a list of any adverse reactions you have with a medication, and discuss with your doctor. Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Ultram, Butrans, Hydromorphone, Nucynta, Buprenorphine, Excedrin

Did Painkiller Crackdown Cause Heroin Epidemic?

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 – Top U.S. drug researchers are challenging a leading theory about the nation's heroin epidemic, saying it's not a direct result of the crackdown on prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. The commentary, published in the Jan. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, is unlikely to resolve the debate, as other researchers disagree with the authors' conclusion. What they likely will agree on is that heroin's popularity is soaring – with more than 914,000 reported users in the United States in 2014, an increase of 145 percent since 2007, according to background notes with the commentary. This has led to a spike in overdose deaths – more than 10,500 in 2014. Some researchers and health officials point to recent limits on prescription painkillers as a likely cause of the heroin scourge. But the commentary authors said that the rise in ... Read more

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

Spike in Newborn Drug-Withdrawal Tied to Prenatal Painkiller Use

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 – More babies are being born with drug withdrawal syndrome, possibly due to increased use of powerful prescription painkillers by pregnant women, according to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. It's estimated that 14 percent to 22 percent of pregnant women in the United States are prescribed narcotic ("opioid") painkillers. These drugs include brands such as OxyContin and Percocet. In addition, there has reportedly been an increase in the rate of painkiller abuse among pregnant women. Between 2000 and 2009, the incidence of drug withdrawal syndrome among newborns – also called neonatal abstinence syndrome – rose from 1.2 to 3.4 per 1,000 live births, NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow reported in an article published in the Jan. 12 issue of the BMJ. "The steep increase in the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in the United States has ... Read more

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

Painkillers Often Gateway to Heroin for U.S. Teens: Survey

Posted 30 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2015 – Three-quarters of U.S. high school students who use heroin first tried narcotic painkillers, a new survey reveals. Survey results from nearly 68,000 high school seniors provide some clues to heroin's recent deadly path from the inner city into affluent suburbs and rural communities. "The more times a teen uses nonprescribed painkiller pills, the greater the risk he or she is at for becoming dependent on the drug," said lead researcher Joseph Palamar, an assistant professor of population health at New York University. "People who become dependent on painkiller pills often wind up resorting to heroin use because it's cheaper and more available than these pills," Palamar explained. And white students appear more likely than blacks or Hispanics to travel this route, the research suggests. More than 12 percent of the high school seniors reported using narcotic ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Ultram, Butrans, Hydromorphone, Nucynta, Buprenorphine

Prescriptions Continue for Most Who Survive Painkiller ODs: Study

Posted 30 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 – Even as overdoses from narcotic prescription painkiller reach record levels in the United States, a new report finds that most people who survive such events continue to be prescribed the drugs by their doctors. The new study found that this happened in more than 90 percent of cases, and patients who continued on drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet after an overdose had twice the odds of overdosing again within the next two years. "Seventy percent of patients who overdosed were getting their drugs from the same doctor who prescribed the narcotic before the overdose," noted lead researcher Dr. Marc Larochelle, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. In many cases, doctors who continued to prescribe the narcotics didn't even know that their patients had suffered an overdose. "This signals a problem with the health system, ... Read more

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

Florida 'Pill Mill' Crackdown May Have Curbed Painkiller ODs

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 – A crackdown on "pill mills" in Florida appears to have led to fewer overdose deaths from narcotic painkillers, and may have helped reduce heroin overdose deaths as well, researchers report. Pill mills are clinics run by doctors who purportedly write large numbers of prescriptions for narcotic painkillers for cash, often without examining the patient, the researchers said. These painkillers include Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. After Florida officials began their crackdown on pill mills, more than 1,000 fewer deaths occurred over 34 months, the study revealed. "Curbing the operation of pill mills may be an effective way for states to reduce prescription narcotic overdose death rates and total narcotic overdose death rates," said lead researcher Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, an assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. ... Read more

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

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