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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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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, Roxicodone

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, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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

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, Roxicodone, Nucynta

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, Roxicodone, Nucynta

ERs Dispensing More Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 – More and more Americans are being prescribed powerful narcotic drugs when they visit the emergency department for problems such as low back pain or a pounding headache, a new study finds. Between 2001 and 2010, emergency departments in the United States showed a 49 percent increase in prescriptions for narcotic painkillers – also known as opiates. That was despite the fact that there was only a small increase in the percentage of visits for painful conditions. Experts said the trend is concerning because narcotic painkillers – which include drugs like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin – can be addictive, or abused by people with existing drug problems. And while the drugs may be necessary for more-severe pain, ER doctors see many patients who can stick with over-the-counter pain relievers. "In many cases, naproxen, Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen are the ... 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

Common Cold Meds May Pose Health Threats

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – Over-the-counter sinus and pain remedies that combine two common ingredients – phenylephrine and acetaminophen – might cause serious side effects such as high blood pressure, dizziness and tremors, New Zealand researchers warn. These side effects occur because acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) boosts the effects of phenylephrine, according to a report in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Products containing this drug combination include Tylenol Sinus, Sudafed PE Sinus, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus and Excedrin Sinus Headache. "What we found was surprising because it hasn't been studied or reported," said lead researcher Hartley Atkinson, managing director of AFT Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., in Auckland. Phenylephrine, which replaced pseudoephedrine in many over-the-counter medications, relieves nasal congestion from colds, ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Lortab, Acetaminophen, Sta-D, Fioricet, Paracetamol, Darvocet-N 100, Endocet, Excedrin, Cold Symptoms, Tylenol PM, Phenylephrine, NyQuil, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Ultracet, Percocet 10/325

Study Finds 1 in 3 Tennesseans Uses Narcotic Painkillers Each Year

Posted 3 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 – One of every three Tennesseans fills a prescription for narcotic painkillers at least once a year, creating a free-floating pool of available medication that helps feed the state's growing problem with prescription drug abuse, a new study has found. Nearly 5.2 million Tennessee residents received painkillers – 37 million total prescriptions – between 2007 and 2011, which works out to about 1.4 prescriptions per resident, according to a report published online March 3 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. A small but significant percentage of those residents appeared to be engaging in "doctor shopping," which indicates drug abuse and increases their risk of overdose death, said senior study author Dr. Timothy Jones, state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health. Among patients who received narcotic pain killers in 2011, 7.6 percent got ... Read more

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

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