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Doctors' Group Issues Painkiller Guidelines

Posted 12 hours ago 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

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

Deaths From Narcotic Painkillers Quadrupled in Past Decade: CDC

Posted 14 days ago 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

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

Movantik Approved for Constipation From Opioids

Posted 14 days ago 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

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

Small Number of Drugs Behind Kids' Accidental Poisonings: CDC

Posted 15 days ago 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

Related support groups: Suboxone, Xanax, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Codeine, Opana, Subutex

'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, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Lortab, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta

Fewer Painkiller Deaths in States With Medical Marijuana: Study

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 – States that have legalized medical marijuana tend to experience an unexpected benefit – fewer overdose deaths from narcotic painkillers, a new study suggests. Access to medical marijuana is associated with 25 percent fewer prescription drug overdose deaths each year compared to states where medical pot is illegal, according to findings published Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine. What's more, states that pass medical marijuana laws see their overdose death rates decrease dramatically in the years immediately afterward, researchers reported. The study authors believe that people suffering from chronic pain tend to rely on medical marijuana when they have that option, which reduces the risk of addiction and overdose that accompanies use of narcotic medications. "We think that people with chronic pain may be choosing to treat their pain with marijuana rather than ... Read more

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

Many U.S. Workers on Disability Use Narcotic Painkillers, Study Finds

Posted 22 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 – A growing number of Americans on work disability chronically use powerful prescription painkillers, according to a new study. Researchers found that between 2007 and 2011, about 44 percent of people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits were prescribed narcotic painkillers each year. And the percentage using the drugs long-term rose from 21 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2011. Experts said the trend is worrying because narcotic painkillers – which include OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin – can be addictive, or abused by people with existing drug problems. What's more, when it comes to typical workplace injuries, narcotic painkillers are not a good long-term solution, the study authors noted. "The effectiveness is at best uncertain, and the risks are very real," said researcher Ellen Meara, of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and ... Read more

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

DEA to Publish Final Rule Rescheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products

Posted 22 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

August 21, 2014 – On Friday the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will publish in the Federal Register the Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II, as recommended by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of relevant data. The Federal Register has made the Final Rule available for preview on its website today at http://go.usa.gov/mc8d. This Final Rule imposes the regulatory controls and sanctions applicable to Schedule II substances on those who handle or propose to handle HCPs. It goes into effect in 45 days. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places substances with accepted medical uses into one of four schedules, with the substances with the highest potential for harm and abuse being placed in S ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Hydromet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Vicoprofen, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES, Hycodan, Lortab 10/500, Anexsia, Vicodin HP, Lorcet Plus, Narcof, Zutripro, Lortab 5/500, Poly-Tussin, Lortab 7.5/500

U.S. to Tighten Access to Certain Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 21 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2014 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is going ahead with tough new controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, which has been tied to a surge in dangerous addictions across the United States. The new restrictions would cover prescription narcotic drugs such as Vicodin, Lortab and their generic equivalents, putting them in the same regulatory class as painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and codeine. Patients will now only have access to a three-month supply of the drug and will have to see a doctor to get any refills. The new rules, posted online by the DEA on Thursday, come more than 18 months after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel met to discuss the fate of painkillers containing hydrocodone. That 2013 meeting followed the DEA's request for an FDA panel review on the issue. The painkillers were previously classified as ... Read more

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

Abuse of Prescription Painkillers on the Rise Among High School Athletes: Survey

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – Abuse of prescription painkillers is on the rise among high school athletes, and football players are among the worst offenders, a new study shows. The finding was published online recently in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse. "I've studied the use of performance-enhancing substances in sports for about 15 years, and this study extended that line of research to mind-altering substances," study author Bryan Denham, of Clemson University in South Carolina, said in a journal news release. "Alcohol has always been available, as has marijuana, but young people also may look to stronger drugs for euphoric effects," Denham said. "If prescription pain relievers are overprescribed in certain regions, their use may trickle down to adolescents. Use of narcotic pain relievers may become a habit with some adolescent athletes." The researchers analyzed the ... Read more

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

Popping Pills in America: Can the DEA Fix This?

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

There's no doubt about it - the U.S. is a big consumer of prescription painkillers. In fact, in 2010 enough prescription painkillers were prescribed to medicate each American adult every four hours for an entire month. A report released in March 2014 from the U.S. National Safety Council shows that prescription drug overdoses – more than car accidents – are the leading cause of accidental death among U.S. working-age adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose, fueled mainly by opioids. The narcotic abuse epidemic has gotten out of control. But what is being done to stop it? The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is taking action. The medical community awaits a final DEA decision on switching hydrocodone combination products like Lortab and Vicodin from schedule III to schedule II to help curb ab ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Opiate Dependence, Norco, Lortab, Roxicodone, Endocet, Hydromet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Vicoprofen, Percocet 10/325, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Roxicet, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES, Hycodan, Lortab 10/500

Prescriptions for Powerful Painkillers Vary Widely Among States: CDC

Posted 1 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 1, 2014 – Doctors in some states seem to wield a freer hand issuing prescriptions for powerful narcotic medications, leading to wide variations in narcotic drug use among states, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday. Physicians in Alabama – the state with the highest number of narcotic painkiller prescriptions – issued nearly three times as many of those prescriptions as doctors in Hawaii – the lowest prescribing state, according to researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The bottom line is we're not seeing consistent, effective, appropriate prescribing of painkillers across the nation, and this is a problem because of the deaths that result," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said at a news conference. Frieden added that every day 46 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers. Overall, health-care providers wrote 259 ... Read more

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

Many U.S. Vets Suffer Chronic Pain, Take Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 30 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 30, 2014 – Nearly half of U.S. soldiers returning home are caught in the grip of chronic pain, with a substantial number of them relying on addictive narcotic painkillers to help them cope, a new study finds. About 44 percent of the members of an Army infantry brigade reported chronic pain even three months after returning from their tour of duty in Afghanistan or Iraq, nearly double the estimate for the civilian population. Civilian chronic pain rates are about 26 percent. Soldiers also are nearly four times more likely than civilians to use prescription narcotics to treat their pain, according to the report published online June 30 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. About 15 percent of soldiers in the brigade reported using narcotic painkillers within the last month, compared to 4 percent of civilians. "War is really hard on the body," said study author Lt. Cmdr. ... Read more

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

FDA Reminder: Stop Prescribing/Dispensing Prescription Combinations with more than 325 mg Acetaminophen

Posted 28 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

April 28, 2014 – FDA is reminding health care professionals to stop prescribing and pharmacists to stop dispensing prescription combination drug products that contain more than 325 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit. If a pharmacist receives a prescription for a combination product with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit, FDA recommends that they contact the prescriber to discuss a product with a lower dose of acetaminophen. These products are no longer considered safe by FDA and have been voluntarily withdrawn. We encourage pharmacists to return them to the wholesaler or manufacturer. These products were voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturers at FDA’s request to protect consumers from the risk of severe liver damage, which can result from taking too much acetaminophen. FDA also asks wholesalers to remove the product codes for a ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Roxicet, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Lortab 10/500, Percocet 5/325, Anexsia, Lorcet Plus, Vicodin HP, Lortab 5/500, Percocet 7.5/325, Lortab 7.5/500, Xodol

More ERs Treating Headaches With Narcotics, Study Finds

Posted 2 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 – There's been a big increase in prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers given to headache patients at hospital emergency departments, a new U.S. study finds. This increase has occurred even though guidelines from a number of medical groups, including the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Emergency Physicians, say these pain drugs should not be used as a first-line treatment for headache. The study authors pointed out that this trend in emergency department prescribing practices has occurred at the same time that rates of abuse, overdose and deaths due to narcotics are on the rise in the United States. The researchers analyzed national data from 2001 to 2010 and found a 65 percent increase in emergency department use of narcotic prescriptions for headaches during that period. The largest rise (450 percent) was in the use of ... Read more

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

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