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New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. "Many oncologists and primary care physicians are not trained to recognize or treat long-term pain associated with cancer," guideline panel co-chair Judith Paice said in an ASCO news release. "This guideline will help clinicians identify pain early and develop comprehensive treatment plans, using a broad range of approaches," she said. Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to a record ... Read more

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

Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective ... approaches to managing common painful medical conditions," said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey. The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain. That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Tylenol, Opana, Chronic Pain

Why Kicking the Opioid Habit Can Be So Tough

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – He was 26, a specialist fifth class with the U.S. Army, and stationed abroad, when an accident on the German autobahn sent him careening through the windshield of his car. The now 60-year-old veteran prefers to withhold his name, but not his story, of a decades-long struggle against chronic back pain and an addiction to the opioid painkillers he'd hoped would help him. "At first I was taking 50 milligrams [mg] of Percocet," the Colorado resident recalled. "Every day I'd wake up in pain. And every day I'd automatically pop a pill right away and go back to work. I didn't think anything of it – I'd just take Percocet in combination with hydrocodone [Vicodin], and it worked." However, "eventually it wasn't working anymore," he said. "I felt like I was putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound, and I couldn't stand the pain." Then, over time, there was a "gradual ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Breakthrough Pain, Percocet 5/325, OxyIR, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Percocet 7.5/325

Alzheimer's May Hamper Ability to Perceive Pain

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – Alzheimer's disease may affect people's ability to recognize when they are in pain, a new study shows. Undetected pain may allow underlying health issues to go untreated, leading to serious complications, such as organ damage, researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville cautioned. For the three-year study, the researchers tested two groups of adults who were aged 65 or older. One group was made up of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which affects thinking skills, memory and intellect. Members of the second group did not have the progressive neurological disease. The study used a device to subject participants to different heat sensations and asked them to report their pain levels. After the tests, the researchers analyzed self-reported pain. "We found that participants with Alzheimer's disease required higher temperatures to report sensing ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Back Pain, Sciatica, Alzheimer's Disease, Chronic Myofascial Pain, Breakthrough Pain

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?

Posted 9 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2016 – People are actually using medical marijuana as a treatment for health problems, not simply as an excuse to get high, a new study suggests. States that pass medical marijuana laws tend to experience a significant decline in prescriptions for ailments that could be treated with cannabis, said study senior researcher W. David Bradford. He's the chair of public policy with the University of Georgia's Department of Public Administration and Policy. At the same time, there hasn't been a decline in prescriptions for drugs that treat conditions for which marijuana wouldn't help much or at all, Bradford said. "There was a substantial shift away from the use of [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved drugs when states turned their medical marijuana laws on," Bradford said. Patients most often use medical marijuana to treat pain, causing a large decrease in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Breakthrough Pain, Cannabis

Drug Monitoring Programs Do Curb Overdose Deaths: Study

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 – Drug monitoring programs appear to help reduce deaths from prescription painkillers called opioids, a new study finds. In an effort to curb overdose deaths from powerful painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, all states except Missouri have implemented prescription-drug monitoring programs to track high-risk patients and prescription providers. But there have been conflicting findings about the effectiveness of these programs. For instance, a study published June 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine found no change in opioid use or overdoses among disabled workers on Medicare between 2006 and 2012, despite tighter regulations. But the current study – based on data from 1999 to 2013 – found that monitoring programs were associated with the prevention of about one opioid painkiller overdose death every two hours nationwide. "Today, opioid overdose ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Keep Bedtime Back Pain at Bay

Posted 15 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Back pain is a common reason for poor sleep. So taking steps to alleviate or prevent pain can help you sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation suggests: If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help alleviate back pain. If you're a stomach sleeper, place a pillow under your belly. If you're a side sleeper, use a pillow between your knees. Invest in a new mattress. Choose one that's firm or medium-firm for more support. Or plant a sheet of beneath your existing mattress. Get out of bed slowly and gently. Instead of sitting straight up, roll onto your side, push up with your hands and swing your legs over the side. Exercise regularly, making sure to perform strengthening exercises that focus on your back and core. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Diclofenac, Advil, Sciatica, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Fioricet, Herniated Disc, Motrin, Excedrin, Indomethacin

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – While the dangers of overdose among patients prescribed powerful opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and fentanyl are well known, a new study found unexpected heart risks with the medications. Patients who had just been prescribed an opioid painkiller had a 64 percent higher risk of early death when compared to patients who were given an alternative pain medication. But much of that increased risk was related to the onset of breathing difficulties during sleep, followed by heart rhythm irregularities and other cardiovascular complications. "We were not surprised by the increased risk for overdose deaths, which is well known," noted study author Wayne Ray, from the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. "However, the large increase in cardiovascular death risk is a novel finding," Ray said. "[And] it suggests ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Gabapentin, Fentanyl, Lyrica, Chronic Pain, Neurontin, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Sciatica, Tegretol, Roxicodone, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Endocet, Duragesic, Scoliosis

Patients Often Prescribed Extra Painkillers, Many Share Them

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – More than half the patients prescribed opioid painkillers in a recent U.S. study received more than they needed. And many shared the drugs or failed to store them securely, a new survey indicates. The study of more than 1,000 adults prescribed painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin shows how some Americans gain illicit access to addictive pain medications. These patterns are contributing to the nation's epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and overdose deaths, the researchers said. More than one in five patients admitted "they have shared an opioid medication with another person, primarily to help that other person manage pain," said study lead author Alene Kennedy-Hendricks. She is an assistant scientist in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore. Moreover, more than 60 percent of ... Read more

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

Florida's Tougher Laws May Be Cutting Opioid Prescriptions

Posted 2 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 – The top prescribers of opioid painkillers in Florida wrote far fewer prescriptions for those drugs the year after the state implemented tough new drug policies, a new study reveals. Two policies aimed at reducing the number of prescriptions for the potentially addictive opioids, such as Oxycontin, took effect in late 2011. One was the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a database that tracks individual prescriptions, including patient names, dates and amounts prescribed. This enables doctors to watch for people with multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, which is associated with addiction and illicit use. The second measure was the so-called "pill mill" law that requires pain clinics to register with the state and to be owned by a doctor. Pill mills are pain clinics that prescribe disproportionately high levels of opioid prescriptions. One year ... Read more

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

Antidepressants Not Just for Depression Any More

Posted 24 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 24, 2016 – Doctors prescribe antidepressants for a wide range of medical problems other than depression, apparently fueling the boom in sales of these medications, researchers report. Depression accounts for only a little more than half the antidepressant prescriptions issued by Quebec physicians during the past decade, the Canadian study found. Doctors also issued antidepressants to treat anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, panic disorders, fibromyalgia, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and a host of other "off-label" conditions for which the drugs are not approved, according to the report. Two out of every three non-depression prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out under an off-label purpose, the findings showed. "The thing that's of concern here is that when prescribing for conditions other than depression, often these are for indications such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Headache, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Fibromyalgia, Sleep Disorders, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Migraine, Insomnia, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram

FDA Orders Warning Labels on Prescription Narcotic Painkillers

Posted 22 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 – Hoping to curb a national epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, U.S. officials on Tuesday announced that certain drugs will get new "boxed warnings" about the dangers of misuse. The move by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration comes one week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced tough new guidelines to doctors for "opioid" drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin. "We are at a time when the unfathomable tragedies resulting from addiction, overdose and death has become one of the most urgent, devastating public health crises facing our country," FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf told reporters at a Tuesday news briefing. He said the agency is working with other agencies, drug makers, doctors and patients "to prevent abuse, save lives and treat dependence while still providing patients in pain access to effective ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Vicoprofen, Percocet 10/325, Hydromet, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Health Tip: Help Prevent Back Pain During Sleep

Posted 2 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If back pain prevents you from getting a good night's sleep, your position and mattress may be to blame. The National Sleep Foundation suggests: If you're a back sleeper, place a pillow beneath your knees to ease pressure on your back. If you're a stomach sleeper, place the pillow under your belly. Side sleepers should place the pillow between the knees. Invest in a new mattress. Medium to medium-firm is best for back support. If you can't buy a new one, place some plywood beneath the mattress. Carefully ease in and out of bed, avoiding quick movements. Roll to your side, use your arms to push yourself up and carefully swing your legs over the side of the bed. Exercise regularly, making sure to work your abdominal and back muscles. Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Fioricet, Herniated Disc, Excedrin, Tylenol PM, Scoliosis, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Breakthrough Pain, Advil PM, Esgic, Headache Relief, Percogesic, Bupap, Esgic-Plus, Excedrin Extra Strength, Acetaminophen/Butalbital

'Mindfulness' Might Help Older Adults With Back Pain

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 – Mindful meditation may offer a measure of pain relief to seniors suffering from chronic lower back pain, new research suggests. The study involved nearly 300 older adults with long-term lower back pain, half of whom were assigned to a two-month mindful meditation course. "Mindfulness meditation is a method to learn how to be fully engaged in the present moment and not let the mind get so easily distracted," explained study lead author Dr. Natalia Morone. She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. As patients practiced mindfulness meditation and tried to stay more focused on the present moment, "participants found they experienced less pain," Morone said. They also saw short-term benefits in physical function, the study found. More than half of adults older than 65 suffer from chronic pain, most commonly in the back, according to ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Breakthrough Pain, Radiculopathy

Botox-Like Injection Might Ease Runners' Knee Pain

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2016 – A Botox-like injection, added to physical therapy, may relieve a type of knee pain that's common in runners, cyclists and other active people, a new study suggests. The condition – called lateral patellofemoral overload syndrome (LPOS) – affects more than one in eight people who regularly exercise, the British research team explained. The condition causes pain in the front and side of the knee joint, and healing can be a challenge, experts said. "Knee pain in runners and cyclists is often difficult to treat," said Dr. Victor Khabie, chief of sports medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "Most will respond well to traditional therapy, but some will continue to have pain." According to the study authors, prior research has shown that 80 percent of people with LPOS have ongoing symptoms after undergoing conventional treatment, and 74 ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Botox, Knee Joint Replacement, Breakthrough Pain, Dysport

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