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Medical Pot-Painkiller Combo Isn't Always Recipe for Abuse

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 – Medical marijuana users don't appear to increase their risk for drug or alcohol abuse if they also take prescription painkillers, a new study finds. While many people use medical marijuana as an alternative to narcotic (opioid) painkillers, some use both to cope with chronic pain, the researchers said. "We expected that persons receiving both cannabis and prescription opioids would have greater levels of involvement with alcohol and other drugs," said study author Brian Perron of the University of Michigan School of Social Work in Ann Arbor. "However, that wasn't the case – although persons who were receiving both medical cannabis and prescription opioids reported higher levels of pain, they showed very few differences in their use of alcohol and other drugs compared to those receiving medical cannabis only," he said. The study, published in the May issue of the ... 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

Multiple ER Visits Linked to Risk of Prescription-Drug Overdose Death

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – Frequent visits to emergency departments appear to be a predictor of death from a prescription drug overdose, a new study finds. People with four or more ER visits in the past year were 48 times more likely to die of prescription drug overdose compared to those who visited an ER once or not at all, researchers found. With three visits a year, the risk of overdose death from a prescription drug was 17 times greater. The study, by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, was recently published online in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. "While 'doctor-shopping' – the practice of visiting multiple health care providers to obtain controlled substances – has been shown to be associated with prescription drug overdose in many studies, our investigation demonstrates that the frequency of emergency department visits in the past year 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

ERs See Spike in Narcotic Painkiller Abuse Cases

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – There was a sharp rise in the number of emergency room visits involving the narcotic painkiller tramadol between 2005 and 2011, two new government reports show. Tramadol is the active ingredient in brand-name drugs such as Ultram, Ultracet, Conzip, Ryzolt and Rybix ODT. The number of ER visits associated with adverse reactions to tramadol rose 145 percent from nearly 11,000 visits in 2005 to almost 26,000 visits in 2009. The number of visits increased to more than 27,000 visits in 2011, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported. "Tramadol and other pain relievers can help to alleviate pain, but they must be used carefully and in close consultation with a physician," SAMHSA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz said in an agency news release. ER visits associated with adverse reactions to tramadol rose about ... Read more

Related support groups: Tramadol, Ultram, Dromadol SR, Ultracet, Ultram ER, Opioid Overdose, Ryzolt, Zydol, Tramal, GenRx Tramadol, Tramahexal, Ultram ODT, ConZip, Tramahexal SR, Zamadol, Acetaminophen/Tramadol, Zamadol SR, Dromadol XL, Tramedo, Zydol SR

Insomniacs May Be More Sensitive to Pain

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – People with insomnia or poor sleep quality may be less tolerant of pain, new research suggests. The more frequent and severe the insomnia, the greater the sensitivity to pain, the Norwegian study showed. Additionally, the researchers noted that people with insomnia who also suffer from chronic pain have an even lower threshold for physical discomfort. It's important to note, however, that while the study found an association between a lack of quality sleep and increased pain sensitivity, it wasn't designed to show a cause-and-effect relationship. The study, led by Borge Sivertsen, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Bergen, involved more than 10,000 adults. The study participants all underwent a standard test of pain sensitivity by dunking their hands in a bath of cold water for 106 seconds. The volunteers were also asked about their sleep quality. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Headache, Back Pain, Sleep Disorders, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Insomnia, Methadone, Percocet, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Chronic Pain, Morphine, Norco, Fentanyl, Tylenol, Lortab, Codeine

Spinal Stimulation System Relieves Pain Without Tingling

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – The Senza spinal cord stimulation system has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic back pain without the tingling sensation that characterizes more traditional pain-relieving methods. The implanted device uses high-frequency stimulation to avoid the tingling sensation known as "paresthesia," the agency said in a news release. Spinal pain could be characterized by conditions including failed back surgery syndrome, low back pain and leg pain. Before treatment with Senza begins, potential users are treated with a trial system for a week or two, the FDA said. Once a physician determines that the trial device has worked, patients have minimally invasive surgery to implant Senza in the upper buttocks or abdomen. The device includes a patient-operated remote control. Senza's safety and effectiveness were clinically evaluated in a study ... Read more

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

ER Doctors Cautious When Prescribing Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 18 days 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 30 Apr 2015 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 28 Apr 2015 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 20 Apr 2015 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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