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ER Doctors Cautious When Prescribing Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 – U.S. emergency room doctors are cautious when prescribing narcotic painkillers that carry a high risk of abuse, a new study shows. Researchers analyzed data collected from more than 27,000 patients seen at 19 emergency departments (EDs) across the United States during a single week in October 2012. Nearly 12 percent of the patients were prescribed narcotic painkillers. Narcotic painkillers include drugs such as Oxycontin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The average age of the patients was 41 and slightly more than half were women, the investigators found. Most of the prescriptions for the painkillers had a low number of pills and nearly all were immediate-release versions, not long-acting medications such as Oxycontin and MS-Contin, which carry a greater risk of overdose. "Our data show that opioid [narcotic painkiller] prescribing in the ED is done with ... Read more

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

Heroin Use Surges Among Whites Who Abuse Prescription Painkillers

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 – Heroin use rose among people who abuse prescription narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin or Vicodin, a new study found. The most significant increase was a 75 percent jump in the number of white people using heroin in 2008 to 2011, researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health revealed. "The noteworthy increase in the annual rate of heroin abuse or dependence among . . . whites parallels the significant increase in nonmedical opioid [narcotic] use during the last decade and the growing number of heroin overdose deaths described for this race and ethnic group in recent years," study leader Dr. Silvia Martins said in a university news release. Martins is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Heroin use also spiked among Hispanics, according to the study. The study included ... Read more

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

ER Practices Key to Helping Those Addicted to Painkillers: Study

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – A comparison of three treatments for narcotic painkiller addiction found that patients given the medication buprenorphine in the emergency department do better than those given only referrals. Addiction to prescription narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin or Vicodin is "a huge public health problem," study first author Dr. Gail D'Onofrio, chair of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., said in a university news release. Drug overdoses account for more deaths each day in the United States than car crashes, she and her colleagues noted. Although buprenorphine is also a narcotic, at low doses it enables people to discontinue painkiller misuse without experiencing withdrawal symptoms, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This helps them to engage in treatment. D'Onofrio's team set out to ... Read more

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

'Tamper-Proof' Narcotic Painkiller May Be Curbing Abuse: Study

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 – Narcotic painkillers that have features that make them hard to abuse may be linked to a drop in both the number of prescriptions and overdoses of these drugs, a new study finds. After a tamper-resistant form of OxyContin was introduced in 2010, prescriptions dropped 19 percent and the rate of overdoses dropped 20 percent across the United States. However, the rate of heroin overdose increased by 23 percent during the same period, the researchers added. "This is the first time in the last two decades that narcotic prescribing had dropped, rather than continued to increase," said lead researcher Dr. Marc Larochelle, an instructor at Boston University School of Medicine. And painkiller overdoses also decreased, he added. "Some were skeptical that simply decreasing supply would lead to a decrease in overdoses, but we did find that," Larochelle said. However, since ... Read more

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Narcotic Painkillers in Pregnancy Common, Harmful to Baby: Study

Posted 13 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 – Use of prescription narcotic painkillers is common in pregnancy and increases the likelihood a baby will be born small or early, or go through painful drug withdrawal, a new study finds. These prescription painkillers, also called opioids, include drugs such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin), codeine and morphine. Nearly 30 percent of the Tennessee mothers-to-be in the new study used at least one of these drugs while pregnant, and the associated risks went up if they also smoked or took antidepressants. "I was surprised by the number of women prescribed opioid pain relievers in pregnancy," said lead author Dr. Stephen Patrick, a neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "I was also surprised by how commonly women smoked in pregnancy, and how much that increased the risk of neonatal abstinence ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Morphine, Norco, Lortab, Codeine, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Endocet, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Hydromet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicoprofen, Percocet 10/325, Tussionex Pennkinetic

FDA Issues Final Guidance on the Evaluation and Labeling of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

April 1, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final guidance to assist industry in developing opioid drug products with potentially abuse-deterrent properties. Opioid drugs provide significant benefit for patients when used properly; however opioids also carry a risk of misuse, abuse and death. To combat opioid misuse and abuse, the FDA is encouraging manufacturers to develop abuse-deterrent drugs that work correctly when taken as prescribed, but, for example, may be formulated in such a way that deters misuse and abuse, including making it difficult to snort or inject the drug for a more intense high. While drugs with abuse-deterrent properties are not “abuse-proof,” the FDA sees this guidance as an important step toward balancing appropriate access to opioids for patients with pain with the importance of reducing opioid misuse and abuse. The document “Gu ... Read more

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One-Quarter of Narcotic Painkillers Misused, Study Shows

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – Almost a quarter of powerful narcotic painkillers that are prescribed for chronic pain are misused, and the rate of addiction among patients hovers near 10 percent, a new review shows. The findings raise questions about the benefits of widespread use of these painkillers to treat chronic pain, the researchers said. "On average, misuse was documented in approximately one out of four or five patients, and addiction [was found] in approximately one out of 10 or 11 patients," who were prescribed the drugs as part of their treatment for chronic pain, wrote Kevin Vowles, from the University of New Mexico, and colleagues. In the new review, researchers analyzed 38 published studies, 35 of which were conducted in the United States. The average rates of misuse were 21 percent to 29 percent, while the average rates of addiction were 8 percent to 12 percent, according ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Chronic Pain, Morphine, Norco, Lortab, Codeine, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Endocet, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Hydromet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Vicoprofen

Painkiller-Addicted Babies a Growing U.S. Concern, Especially in Fla.

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Doctors in the United States are seeing more infants born addicted to narcotic painkillers – a problem highlighted by a new Florida-based report. These infants experience what's called neonatal abstinence syndrome as they undergo withdrawal from the addictive drugs their mothers took during pregnancy. Most often these are narcotic painkillers, such as oxycodone, morphine or hydrocodone, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 1995, the number of such newborns jumped 10-fold in Florida while tripling nationwide, the researchers said. "These infants can experience severe symptoms that usually appear within the first two weeks of life," said lead researcher Jennifer Lind, a CDC epidemiologist. The symptoms can include seizures, fever, excessive crying, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea, she said. And withdrawal can take ... Read more

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

Big Increase Seen in Babies Born Addicted to Narcotics

Posted 11 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11, 2015 – There was a 15-fold increase in the number of newborns experiencing opioid withdrawal in the Canadian province of Ontario between 1992 and 2011, researchers report. Opioids, such as OxyContin, are powerful narcotic painkillers that carry a high risk of abuse and addiction, the study authors noted. The incidence of opioid withdrawal among Ontario newborns rose from 0.28 per 1,000 live births to a little more than 4 per 1,000 over the study period, according to the findings published Feb. 11 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Most of the babies were born to mothers who had been legally prescribed a narcotic painkiller before and during pregnancy, study author Dr. Suzanne Turner, a family physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said in a journal news release. As their due date approached, many of those women switched from prescription ... Read more

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

Many Women of Childbearing Age Take Narcotic Painkillers: CDC

Posted 22 Jan 2015 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

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

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

Posted 14 Jan 2015 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

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

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

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

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

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

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