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FDA Medwatch Alert: Implanted Pumps: Safety Communication - Use Caution When Selecting Pain Medicine for Intrathecal Administration

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

ISSUE: The FDA is aware that patients undergoing treatment or management of pain are commonly given pain medicines in the spinal fluid (intrathecal administration) that are not FDA approved for use with the implanted pump. While individual patients may experience some relief from using pain medicines not approved for intrathecal administration in their implanted pumps, such use may create ...

Fentanyl-Laced Crack Cocaine a Deadly New Threat

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31, 2018 – Fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid, is now showing up in crack cocaine and causing life-threatening overdoses. Within a recent four-day period, a Philadelphia hospital treated 18 patients for an apparent opioid overdose even though they'd only been smoking crack cocaine, researchers report. "None of them had intended to use opioids or fentanyl, but ...

Test Strips for Fentanyl May Help Prevent ODs

Posted 19 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 18, 2018 – Fast-acting test strips for fentanyl could reduce drug overdose deaths, a new study suggests. "Test strips could be a lifesaving intervention for many young adults who use drugs," said study leader Brandon Marshall, of Brown University in Rhode Island. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid often used to lace other drugs, including heroin or cocaine. It's hard to ...

Drug Users Trying to Stay Ahead of Deadly Fentanyl

Posted 17 Sep 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 17, 2018 – As deadly fentanyl is increasingly mixed into heroin and other street drugs, some drug abusers are getting smart, a new study finds. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has triggered a sharp increase in overdose deaths over the past few years. The drug is to blame for 44 percent of overdose deaths in New York City alone, according to New York University researchers. ...

Opium Poppy Genome Research May Aid Painkiller Production

Posted 3 Sep 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 3, 2018 – Scientists who decoded the opium poppy genome say the breakthrough might improve production of the plant to provide a cheap, reliable supply of pain relievers and other medications. The opium poppy is used to make the cough suppressant noscapine, and the painkillers morphine and codeine. "Biochemists have been curious for decades about how plants have evolved to become ...

States Struggle With Onslaught of Opioid OD Deaths

Posted 30 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 30, 2018 – A new report on thousands of opioid overdose deaths across 11 states finds the problem is increasingly complex, but more can be done to stop it. The report, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looked at nearly 12,000 fatal opioid overdoses occurring between July 2016 and June 2017 in states across the Northeast, the Midwest and the West. "Most ...

FDA takes action against 21 websites marketing unapproved opioids as part of agency’s effort to target illegal online sales

Posted 28 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

August 28, 2018 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it has warned four more online networks, operating a total of 21 websites, illegally marketing potentially dangerous, unapproved, and misbranded versions of opioid medications, including tramadol. The warning letters issued by the FDA to each of the networks state that they must immediately stop illegally selling these ...

Death Certificate Data May Miss Many Opioid ODs: Study

Posted 27 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 27, 2018 – The actual number of opioid overdose deaths in several U.S. states is likely far higher than death certificates suggest, a new study says. Incomplete reporting of overdose deaths can hamper efforts to fight the nation's opioid epidemic, according to the University of Pittsburgh researchers. They said that as many as 70,000 opioid overdose deaths were not included in ...

When DEA Cracked Down on Opioids, Abusers Moved to Black Market: Study

Posted 16 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 15, 2018 – Illegal opioid sales on the internet have surged in the wake of U.S. government crackdowns on prescriptions for the highly addictive painkillers, a new study shows. In 2014, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified the opioid hydrocodone (Vicodin). The change made the drug harder to prescribe and banned automatic refills. Not surprisingly, the number of such ...

The Other Opioid Crisis: Shortages at U.S. Hospitals

Posted 2 May 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 2, 2018 – U.S. hospitals are running short of the injectable opioids and anesthesia drugs that most surgery patients need during and after their procedures, a new survey shows. More than 98 percent of anesthesiologists responding to the survey said they regularly experience shortages of these drugs. And recent efforts by the federal government to curb the opioid crisis – by ...

Fentanyl Now Drives Drug Overdose Deaths in U.S.

Posted 1 May 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 1, 2018 – Overdose deaths involving dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl have skyrocketed in recent years, surpassing deaths from prescription painkillers, a new U.S. study reveals. Synthetic opioids – primarily fentanyl – were involved in more than 30 percent of fatal overdoses in 2016, up from roughly 8 percent in 2010, the researchers reported. Overall, drug overdose ...

Many Opioid Overdoses May Be Suicides

Posted 26 Apr 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 25, 2018 – As the United States grapples with an ongoing opioid epidemic, experts are calling attention to a hidden aspect of the crisis: Many overdose deaths may, in fact, be suicides. The researchers describe suicide as a "silent contributor" to the nation's opioid overdose death rate. It's hard to know exactly how many Americans have intentionally overdosed on opioids in ...

Safety Info for Opioids Found Lacking

Posted 17 Apr 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 16, 2018 – Information about safe storage and disposal of opioid painkillers on the drugs' package inserts is inconsistent, and even missing from some products, researchers report. Incorrect storage or disposal of unused opioid painkillers is common and a major source of illegal opioid medication use, the new study found. The researchers examined 98 package inserts for six commonly ...

Fentanyl Fuels Latest Spike in Opioid OD Deaths

Posted 29 Mar 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 29, 2018 – Drug overdose deaths continue to pile up in the United States, driven largely by the opioid epidemic and the emergence of dangerously potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl, a new government report shows. Overdose deaths increased by 21.5 percent in 2016, a much sharper spike than the 11.4 percent increase seen the previous year, researchers from the U.S. Centers for ...

Mouse Study Another Step Toward 'Heroin Vaccine'

Posted 21 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – Researchers say they are one step closer to testing a heroin vaccine in humans – in what they hope will become an additional weapon in fighting America's opioid epidemic. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, in California, have developed an experimental vaccine that appears safe and effective in animals. It also has a long enough shelf-life to be practical. ...

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