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These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – An estimated one in 250 Americans lands in the hospital emergency department each year because of a medication-related reaction or problem, a new federal study finds. Among adults 65 and older, the rate is about one in 100, the study authors said. Remarkably, the medicines causing the most trouble haven't changed in a decade, the researchers noted. Blood thinners, diabetes medicines and antibiotics top the list. These drugs accounted for 47 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in 2013 and 2014, according to the analysis. Among older adults, blood thinners, diabetes medicines and opioid painkillers are implicated in nearly 60 percent of emergency department visits for adverse drug events. "The same drugs are causing the most problems," said study co-author Dr. Daniel Budnitz. The study doesn't tease out what went wrong. The reasons ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Diabetes, Type 2, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Warfarin, Coumadin, Subutex

U.S. Surgeon General Declares War on Addiction

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – America's response to alcohol and drug addiction demands a shift in thinking – away from moralizing and toward proven medical treatment instead, the U.S. Surgeon General said Thursday. For too long, addiction has been looked at as a character flaw or a moral failing, rather than as a chronic disease of the brain, Dr. Vivek Murthy said during a morning news conference. "We have 20.8 million people in America with substance abuse disorders," the Surgeon General noted. But only one in 10 is getting treatment, research shows. "That is unacceptable, we have to close that gap," Murthy said. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is not hopeless. "There's strong evidence that prevention and treatment work," Murthy said. Under this line of thinking, treatment of opioid disorders – a national crisis – is likely to include medications such as buprenorphine and methadone. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Alcohol Dependence, Endocet, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse

Opioid Overdoses Up Nearly 200 Percent Among Kids, Teens

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – The number of young children and teens hospitalized for overdosing on opioid painkillers has spiked nearly 200 percent in recent years, a new study finds. Among children under 10, most of the painkiller poisonings were accidental, with children "eating them like candy," said lead researcher Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Among teens, most were accidental overdoses, although some were suicide attempts. In both age groups, the increase in cases involving painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin was dramatic. Among children aged 1 to 4 years, the number of poisonings went up 205 percent from 1997 to 2012. For teens 15 to 19, the increase was 176 percent. Overall, the study showed a 165 percent increase in poisonings from opioid painkillers among those 19 and younger. In addition, ... Read more

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

Many Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 – Millions of Americans with back pain take powerful and potentially addictive opioid painkillers. But in a new survey, many say the drugs provide only limited relief and they worry about taking them. The survey included more than 2,000 people with low back pain. Of the nearly half who were currently taking opioids, only 13 percent said the drugs were very successful at relieving their pain. Forty-four percent said the drugs were somewhat successful, 31 percent said they were moderately successful and 12 percent said they were unsuccessful. Seventy-five percent said the drugs had side effects such as constipation (65 percent), sleepiness (37 percent), thinking and memory problems (32 percent) and drug dependence (29 percent). "Patients are increasingly aware that opioids are problematic, but don't know there are alternative treatment options," said survey author ... Read more

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

Trauma Patients Not to Blame for Opioid Epidemic: Study

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Patients who survived major trauma may not be a significant factor in the U.S. opioid epidemic, a new study suggests. Almost 75 percent of major trauma patients who were prescribed narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet had stopped using them a month after leaving the hospital. And only 1 percent were still taking the drugs on a prescription basis a year later, researchers found. "We were really surprised by how low the numbers were for long-term opiate use," study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld said in an American College of Surgeons news release. "It appears that traumatic injury is not a main driver for continued opioid use in patients who were not taking opioids prior to their injuries," said Schoenfeld, an orthopedic surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Misuse of prescription pain drugs has become a serious health ... Read more

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

'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back Pain

Posted 20 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19, 2016 – Even if they know the pills are fake, chronic back pain sufferers may get relief from placebo drugs, a new study indicates. Researchers found that patients who knowingly took a placebo pill while undergoing traditional treatment for lower back pain had less pain and disability than those who received traditional treatment alone. "These findings turn our understanding of the placebo effect on its head," said Ted Kaptchuk, a joint senior author of the study and director of the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. "This new research demonstrates that the placebo effect is not necessarily elicited by patients' conscious expectation that they are getting an active medicine, as long thought," Kaptchuk added in a hospital news release. "Taking a pill in the context of a patient-clinician ... Read more

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

DEA Puts Quota on Production of Opioid Painkillers

Posted 5 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5, 2016 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it has mandated significant cuts in the production of powerful prescription opioid painkillers. Illegal use of the drugs has helped to fuel the opioid epidemic in the United States. Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids – including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin – nearly quadrupled, with more than 165,000 deaths reported, according to federal health officials. The prescription painkillers in question include drugs such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo and Palladone), fentanyl and morphine. The amount of these drugs allowed to be manufactured in the United States will be reduced by 25 percent or more in 2017, the DEA said. Production of certain opioid medications, such as hydrocodone, will be reduced by 34 percent, the agency ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Dilaudid, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Hydromorphone, Endocet, Duragesic, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone

Risk of Opioid Addiction Up 37 Percent Among Young U.S. Adults

Posted 4 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016 – Young adults in the United States are more likely to become addicted to prescription opioids than they were in years past. And they're more likely to use heroin, too, a new study says. A review of federal data found the odds of becoming dependent on opioids like Vicodin and Percocet increased 37 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds between 2002 and 2014. The study was conducted by researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. A grim picture emerged among slightly older adults, too: Risk of an opioid use disorder more than doubled among 26- to 34-year-olds, increasing from 11 percent to 24 percent, the study found. "Our analyses present the evidence to raise awareness and urgency to address these rising and problematic trends among young adults," said study first author Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

Nanoparticles Ease Aching Joints in Mice

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – New research in mice suggests that tiny nanoparticles might one day be a better way to deliver medicine to inflamed joints in humans. The therapy may reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in people who have suffered joint injuries, the study authors said. About 12 percent of osteoarthritis cases stem from previous joint injuries. The experimental treatment may also benefit people who already have osteoarthritis, according to the study team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. While nonprescription painkillers – such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) – help reduce the pain of joint injuries, they don't stop cartilage destruction caused by inflammation. "I see a lot of patients with osteoarthritis, and there's really no treatment," study senior author Dr. Christine Pham, an associate professor of medicine, said in a ... Read more

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

Countless Opioid Pills Unused by Dental-Surgery Patients

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – More than half of the narcotic painkillers prescribed after wisdom teeth removal go unused, according to a new study that suggests this could contribute to the U.S. opioid epidemic. "When translated to the broad U.S. population, our findings suggest that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to patients following surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth are not used, leaving the door open for possible abuse or misuse by patients, or their friends or family," said study author Dr. Brandon Maughan. Previous studies have shown that many painkiller abusers take extra pills that were prescribed for friends or relatives, Maughan and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, noted in a school news release. For the study, the researchers examined painkiller use by 79 patients who had their ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Oral and Dental Conditions, Ultram, Opana ER

Opioid Epidemic Costs U.S. $78.5 Billion Annually: CDC

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Abuse of powerful prescription painkillers called opioids costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion a year, according to a new government study. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the financial toll of opioid abuse, including direct health care costs, lost productivity and costs to the criminal justice system. "More than 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids. Families and communities continue to be devastated by the epidemic of prescription opioid overdoses," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "The rising cost of the epidemic is also a tremendous burden for the health care system." The study, led by Curtis Florence of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, found that health care accounted for about 30 percent of the costs associated with opioid abuse in 2013. Total ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Most on Opioid Painkillers OK With Getting Overdose Antidote: Survey

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – A new, small survey of people taking powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin found that most were willing to also fill prescriptions for an overdose antidote. Three patients even used the antidote to treat an apparent overdose within a few months, the researchers said. The findings provide more evidence to support wider access to the antidote naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan. "Physicians should absolutely consider prescribing naloxone with opioids," said study co-author Dr. Phillip Coffin. He is director of substance use research with the San Francisco Department of Public Health's Center for Public Health Research. "Some providers have voiced concern that prescribing naloxone to patients could result in negative patient reactions," Coffin added. "We found that this was rare. Even among the few with a negative initial reaction, ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Talwin Nx

FDA Medwatch Alert: Opioid Pain or Cough Medicines Combined With Benzodiazepines: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Requiring New Boxed Warnings About Serious Risks and Death

Posted 5 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA review has found that the growing combined use of opioid medicines with benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system (CNS) has resulted in serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing and deaths.  Opioids are used to treat pain and cough; benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. In an effort to decrease the use of opioids and benzodiazepines, or opioids and other CNS depressants, together, FDA is adding Boxed Warnings, our strongest warnings, to the drug labeling of prescription opioid pain and prescription opioid cough medicines, and benzodiazepines. See the Drug Safety Communication for a listing of all approved prescription opioid pain and cough medicines, and benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants. FDA conducted and reviewed several studies showing that serious risks are associated with the combined ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Vicodin, Norco, Cough, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine

Opioid Abuse Fueling Drug-Related Heart Infections: Study

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – The number of Americans hospitalized with heart infections caused by use of injected opioid drugs is on the rise, a new study indicates. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston said the finding is a disturbing outgrowth of a rising tide of opioid addiction in the United States. For the study, the researchers reviewed U.S. hospital admissions for infective endocarditis, a sometimes deadly infection of the heart valves. Although people born with abnormal valves and older adults with valve problems are at added risk for the condition, it can also result from injecting drugs. Injections can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, the researchers said. In 2013, 12 percent of hospitalizations for infective endocarditis were related to injection drug use, compared to 7 percent in 2000, the study team found. The actual number of cases rose to ... Read more

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

FDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD Risk

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – Mixing prescription opioid painkillers with a class of drugs that includes popular sedatives such as Valium and Xanax can cause a fatal overdose, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will require "boxed warnings" on 389 different products to inform health professionals and the public of this potentially lethal drug interaction, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said during a media briefing. Benzodiazepines – which include Valium and Xanax – affect the central nervous system, and are used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia and seizures, said Dr. Doug Throckmorton, deputy director of regulatory programs with the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. If benzodiazepines are combined with opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), a drug interaction can occur that ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana

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