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What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Proper disposal of prescription painkillers and use of safe alternatives to manage pain could help combat America's opioid abuse epidemic, doctors say. "Today, we are in the midst of an opioid crisis," said Dr. David Ring, chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS) Committee on Patient Safety. In 2015, about 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids (such as OxyContin and Vicodin) and more than 15,000 overdose deaths were attributed to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Orthopaedic surgeons, along with other physicians and health care professionals, are working diligently and collectively to reduce the strength and number of opioid pills prescribed for patients, and to change the patient-doctor conversation regarding pain: how pain can be safely managed with non-opioid medications, ... Read more

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

Many Migraine Sufferers Given Unecessary Opioids, Study Finds

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Too many people with migraines are prescribed potentially addictive opiate painkillers, while too few may be getting recommended medications, a new study suggests. Researchers found that of nearly 2,900 Americans who visited the doctor for migraine relief, 15 percent were prescribed opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin or Percocet) or hydrocodone (Norco, Vicoprofen). That's despite the fact that the drugs should really be used only as a "last resort," said study lead researcher Dr. Larry Charleston IV. Opioids are not only less effective than recommended migraine drugs, they're also risky, said Charleston, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Repeated opioid use, he explained, can actually lead to more frequent, or even chronic, migraines. And by now, it's no secret that the drugs have the potential for abuse and ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Metoprolol, Lortab, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Topamax, Naproxen

Hernia Patients May Need Fewer Opioids After Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – Hernia surgery patients may require far fewer opioid painkillers than they're prescribed, new research suggests. The study included 186 adult patients who had elective inguinal ("groin") hernia repair surgery under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Each patient received a prescription for 10 tablets of the opioid painkiller Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) to ease their post-surgery pain. But they were also encouraged to use non-opioid medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to manage their pain whenever possible. The researchers found that 86 percent of the patients used less than half of their prescribed Vicodin. Almost two-thirds used no Vicodin at all, relying totally on non-opioid pain medications. "The implication of our study is that, even though surgeons have been careful to limit the number of opioid tablets ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocodone, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet, Excedrin, Darvocet-N 100, Endocet, Tylenol PM, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

The Fine Print on Medication Expiration Dates

Posted 4 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 4, 2017 – The expiration dates on over-the-counter and prescription medications seem pretty black and white, but there's some question about whether drugs last even longer. Expiration dates typically range from 12 to 60 months after production. But manufacturers aren't required to determine how long they'll remain potent after that, enabling them to set their own expiration dates and possibly shortchange consumers. Testing reported in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that eight medications with 15 different active ingredients were still potent decades beyond their expiration dates. The U.S. government's own Shelf Life Extension Program extends the dates on some drugs in federal stockpiles to save the military from the cost of replacing them. Its own study found that 90 percent of more than 100 drugs were perfectly good even 15 years after expiration. But what about the meds ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Aspirin, Insulin, Diabetes, Type 1, Excedrin, Nitroglycerin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Diabetes Mellitus, Ecotrin, Nitrostat, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Norgesic, Soma Compound, Nitro-Bid

Aspirin Safe for Heart Failure Patients, Study Finds

Posted 31 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 – Some research has raised concerns about the safety of aspirin for heart failure patients. But a new study appears to offer some reassurance. The study, of over 2,300 patients, found that those on daily aspirin were not at heightened risk of being hospitalized for, or dying from, heart failure. That has been a concern because, in theory, aspirin could interfere with the benefits of certain heart failure drugs, explained Dr. Shunichi Homma, the senior researcher on the study. Plus, two past studies have linked aspirin use to an increased risk of heart failure complications. But the new study, which compared aspirin to warfarin, a blood thinner, was larger and longer-term – following patients in 168 centers in 11 countries over 10 years. "I think this should allay fears that there might be a detrimental effect of prescribing aspirin," said Homma. He is deputy ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Aspirin, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Ramipril, Excedrin, Cozaar, Valsartan, Micardis, Enalapril, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Perindopril

Can an Aspirin a Day Keep a Pregnancy Complication Away?

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – Something as simple as taking a low-dose aspirin every day may protect pregnant women from the life-threatening condition known as preeclampsia, new research suggests. "Preeclampsia is one of the most serious complications of pregnancy, with a high risk of death for the mother and baby," said senior study author Dr. Kypros Nicolaides. He is a professor of fetal medicine at Kings College Hospital in London. But he added, "This condition is, to a great extent, preventable." The new study looked at an aspirin dose of 150 milligrams (mg) per day because some past studies with smaller daily doses of aspirin have produced conflicting results, according to Nicolaides. A baby aspirin dose is 81 milligrams. In those studies using smaller doses, the reduction in preeclampsia risk hovered around 10 percent, he said, but the higher dose in this latest study was linked to ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Excedrin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Toxemia of pregnancy, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan, Anacin, Aspirin/Butalbital/Caffeine

When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Posted 26 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so. Widespread use of opioids for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction in the United States. Forty lives are lost to prescription drug overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But an opioid painkiller, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) can sometimes be the best option for treating pain in the short term, particularly right after surgery or during a severe pain flare-up, pain experts say. In those instances, patients and doctors need to work together to make sure a patient's pain is treated while managing their risk of addiction and overdose. "You have to individualize care," said Dr. Edward Michna, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in ... Read more

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

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 14 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Blood thinners are often prescribed to prevent strokes in people with the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. But a new study suggests these drugs may also help keep dementia at bay. The researchers said that the key is to start blood thinners, such as warfarin, soon after atrial fibrillation is diagnosed. That's true even for people at low risk of a stroke who wouldn't normally be given blood thinners. "We found that people who are on warfarin – the most common blood thinner used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation – experienced very low rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. T. Jared Bunch. He's director of heart rhythm research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart abnormality that affects nearly 3 million American adults. ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Dementia, Eliquis, Alzheimer's Disease, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Rivaroxaban, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ecotrin

Common Food Nutrient Tied to Risky Blood Clotting

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 24, 2017 – A nutrient in meat and eggs may conspire with gut bacteria to make the blood more prone to clotting, a small study suggests. The nutrient is called choline. Researchers found that when they gave 18 healthy volunteers choline supplements, it boosted their production of a chemical called TMAO. That, in turn, increased their blood cells' tendency to clot. But the researchers also found that aspirin might reduce that risk. TMAO is short for trimethylamine N-oxide. It's produced when gut bacteria digest choline and certain other substances. Past studies have linked higher TMAO levels in the blood to heightened risks of blood clots, heart attack and stroke, said Dr. Stanley Hazen, the senior researcher on the new study. These findings, he said, give the first direct evidence that choline revs up TMAO production in the human gut, which then makes platelets (a type of ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte

Don't Let Bugs Dampen Your Outdoor Fun

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, April 15, 2017 – If you've spent any time outdoors recently, you may have found yourself swatting away a fly or mosquito – and that means it's time to bone up on bug avoidance. "Although most bug bites are harmless, some can spread dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue, Lyme disease and malaria," said Dr. Lindsay Strowd, an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "Particularly if you're visiting areas with known insect-borne diseases, it's important to take steps to reduce your risk," Strowd said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Here are Strowd's tips to avoid unwanted bites. Your best defense against insect bites is to cover yourself – with bug spray and clothes. Apply insect repellent with 20 to 30 percent DEET. If you're also wearing sunscreen, apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Acetaminophen, Hydroxyzine, Advil, Zyrtec, Promethazine, Claritin, Phenergan, Loratadine, Allegra, Diphenhydramine, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet

Keys to Heart Disease Care: Communication and Trust

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – People with heart disease may fare better when they feel they can trust and talk to their doctor, two new studies suggest. In one study, researchers found that heart patients who thought their doctors were good communicators were more likely to take aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs. They were also less likely to land in the ER. In the other study, patients were more apt to take their blood pressure medication if they generally trusted the medical profession. It's no secret that communication and trust are important in any doctor-patient relationship, according to Dr. Victor Okunrintemi, the lead researcher on the communication study. What's not clear is how those things affect heart patients' health, said Okunrintemi, who is based at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami. The new findings, he said, don't prove that doctors can keep their patients out of ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Rosuvastatin, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ecotrin

Can Daily Low-Dose Aspirin Lower Cancer Death Risk?

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – Millions of Americans take low-dose aspirin every day for heart health. In doing so, they may also slightly lower their risk of dying from several cancers, a large new study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults, those who regularly used aspirin were 7 percent to 11 percent less likely to die of cancer over the next few decades. The risks of dying from colon, breast, prostate and – for men – lung cancer were all lower among regular aspirin users, compared to non-users, the findings showed. The findings add to evidence that aspirin has cancer-fighting abilities, the researchers said. But they also stressed that people should not start popping a daily aspirin in the hopes of avoiding cancer. There is strong evidence, from research in general, that low-dose aspirin may lower the risk of colon cancer, said Dr. Ernest Hawk, a ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Aspirin, Excedrin, Colorectal Cancer, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan, Anacin, Levacet

Marathon Running May Cause Short-Term Kidney Injury

Posted 28 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 28, 2017 – Any marathoner will tell you that the grueling 26-mile races can do a number on the hips, knees, ankles and feet. Now, a small study suggests that these tests of endurance are also tough on the kidneys. "Marathon runners demonstrate transient or reversible short-term kidney injury," said Dr. Chirag Parikh, professor of medicine at Yale University. In his study of 22 participants in the 2015 Hartford, Conn. Marathon, Parikh found that 82 percent showed acute kidney injury after the race. In this condition, the kidneys fail to filter waste from the blood. The good news is that the kidney injury seems to clear up within two days of the race, he said. "On day 2, they are all fine," Parikh said. Runners likely don't even know they've had this transient injury, Parikh said. "For the short term, I don't think they would notice anything," he said. Parikh isn't certain ... Read more

Related support groups: Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Aleve, Renal Failure, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet, Excedrin, Darvocet-N 100, Endocet, Tylenol PM, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine

Are Blood Thinners Overused in Patients With Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Many people living with the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation may be taking unneeded blood thinners, a new study suggests. These blood thinners, which include aspirin, Plavix and warfarin, are believed to reduce the risk of stroke that can come with atrial fibrillation. But for many atrial fibrillation patients with a low stroke risk, the medications might actually increase both bleeding and stroke risk, researchers reported. The way most doctors decide whether a patient needs a blood thinner is by using a simple score called CHADS2, which assigns points to patients based on age and other medical risks. A score of 2 is usually needed to recommend a blood thinner, the researchers explained. But, "people are realizing that the CHADS2 scores are putting too many people above the threshold – it's pretty easy to get a 2," explained study author ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Aspirin, Atrial Fibrillation, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Clopidogrel, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula

Stent Patients Face Higher Risk of Death After Bleeding, Clots

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – More than a year after getting stents to prop open their clogged arteries, some patients are still at increased risk of death if they suffer either blockages or bleeding events, researchers report. The researchers added that their findings highlight the need to identify which patients are more likely to benefit from prolonged anti-clotting treatment after stenting – and which are not. "Since our analysis found that the development of both ischemic [decreased blood flow] and bleeding events portend a particularly poor overall prognosis, we conclude that we must be thoughtful when prescribing any treatment... that may include bleeding risk," said study lead author Dr. Eric Secemsky. He is a fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital's division of cardiology. For the study, the researchers tracked long-term risks among people who had ischemia or bleeding events ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Soma Compound, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan

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