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Steroid Shots Offer No Long-Term Relief for Low-Back Pain

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Chronic lower back pain affects millions of Americans. Many try steroid injections to ease their discomfort, but researchers now say this remedy provides only short-term relief. In their study, investigators from France focused on 135 patients with back pain seemingly caused by inflammation between the discs and bones (vertebrae) in the lower spine. The researchers found that a single steroid injection eased pain for one month. After that, however, effectiveness waned. Virtually no difference was seen one year after treatment between patients who did or didn't get the injection. "Our results do not support the wide use of an injection of glucocorticoid in alleviating symptoms in the long term in this condition," said lead researcher Dr. Christelle Nguyen. The findings are consistent with earlier studies, said Nguyen, an assistant professor of physical medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Chronic Pain, Sciatica, Methylprednisolone, Breakthrough Pain, Herniated Disc, Medrol, Solu-Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, Depo-Medrol, Methylprednisolone Topical, A-methapred, Adlone-80, Methacort 40, Med-Jec-40, Dep Medalone 80, Methylcotol, Medralone

Opioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Mixing opioid painkillers with common anxiety and sleep medications is a prescription for a deadly overdose, a new U.S. study shows. Of all fatal overdoses from narcotic medications, nearly 30 percent also involved benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin and Valium, the researchers said. "It's not news that this combination is not a good one, but despite being well known, it's gone up over time, and more people are ending up in the hospital because of it," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun. "Patients and doctors really need to think twice about this combination." When patients take benzodiazepines along with narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin, the mix lowers the threshold for an overdose, said Sun. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University. Although this study cannot ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Klonopin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Valium, Codeine, Lortab

Wireless Arm Patch May Blunt Migraine Pain

Posted 1 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 – A wireless arm patch may be a promising new treatment for migraine headaches, researchers report. Rubber electrodes and a chip in the patch produce electric impulses that block pain signals from reaching the brain, the study authors said. When a migraine starts, you can control the intensity of the electric impulses using a smartphone app, explained lead researcher Dr. David Yarnitsky, chair of neurology at Rambam Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel. "You can use skin stimulation at an intensity which is not painful and be able to stop or substantially diminish the development of a migraine attack, as long as you do it early enough in the migraine attack," he said. "There are no side effects," Yarnitsky added. "You feel a tingle in your upper arm." Before, when stimulation devices had been tested on migraines, they needed wires and were attached to the head, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Migraine, Neuralgia, Migraine Prevention, Breakthrough Pain, Neuropathic Pain, Imitrex, Migraine Prophylaxis, Maxalt, Sumatriptan, Zomig, Cafergot, Relpax, Treximet, Midrin, Pain/Fever, Ergotamine, Rizatriptan, Frova, Maxalt-MLT

Valium May Be Useless for Acute Lower Back Pain

Posted 28 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – For decades, emergency room staff often gave Valium to patients for an acute bout of bad lower back pain. But a new head-to-head trial in an ER environment casts doubt on the notion that Valium or potent painkillers can really help. As reported Feb. 22 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, the trial found that Aleve (naproxen) and a "dummy" placebo pill were as effective as naproxen plus Valium (diazepam) in treating ER patients with acute lower back pain. "Our study contributes to the growing body of literature indicating that, in general, most medications do not improve acute lower back pain," lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Friedman, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said in a journal news release. "One week after being discharged from the emergency department, lower back pain patients had improved equally, regardless of whether they ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Valium, Naproxen, Diazepam, Breakthrough Pain, Aleve, Naprosyn, Vimovo, Treximet, Naprelan '375', Naprelan, Aleve PM, Anaprox, Anaprox-DS, Diastat, Midol Extended Relief, Esomeprazole/naproxen, Diastat AcuDial, Valrelease

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: Study

Posted 18 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – Chronic pain is much more common among poor, less educated older Americans than their wealthier, more educated peers, a new study suggests. "I found that people with lower levels of education and wealth don't just have more pain, they also have more severe pain," said study author Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk. She's an assistant professor of sociology from the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. "I also looked at pain-related disability, meaning that pain is interfering with the ability to do normal work or household activities. And again, people with less wealth and education are more likely to experience this disability," she added in a university news release. In the analysis of 12 years of data from more than 19,000 people aged 51 and older, those with the least education were 80 percent more likely to have chronic pain than those with the most education. People ... Read more

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

Low Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try Yoga

Posted 10 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – For people experiencing low back pain, the thought of exercise often seems daunting. But yoga may be a natural fit in the quest to relieve an aching back, a new review indicates. The findings come from an analysis of 12 studies that included more than 1,000 participants with lower back pain. The studies compared yoga to physical therapy or patient education. There was some evidence that yoga led to small improvements in pain, and small to moderate improvements in back function at three and six months. "We found that the practice of yoga was linked to pain relief and improvement in function," said review author L. Susan Wieland. She is an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland. "For some patients suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain, yoga may be worth considering as a form of treatment," Wieland added in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Percocet, Chronic Pain, Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Lortab, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Advil, Breakthrough Pain, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Fioricet, Paracetamol

Opioids and Alcohol a Dangerous Cocktail

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Drinking alcohol while taking powerful opioid painkillers can trigger a potentially deadly respiratory problem, particularly in seniors, a new study warns. "Unfortunately, we're seeing more fatalities and people in emergency rooms after having misused or abused legally prescribed opioids, like oxycodone, while having consumed alcohol," said study author Dr. Albert Dahan. "Respiratory depression [where breathing becomes very shallow or stops temporarily] is a potentially fatal complication of opioid use. We found alcohol exacerbated the already harmful respiratory effects of opioids," Dahan said. Dahan is head of the Anesthesia and Pain Research Unit at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. In the study, the researchers assessed how mixing the opioid painkiller oxycodone and alcohol affected 12 younger volunteers, aged 21 to 28, and 12 older ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Breakthrough Pain, Opana ER

U.S. Report Cites the Good and Bad on Marijuana

Posted 12 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Current medical science has proven there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana and cannabis-derived drugs, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences states. Conclusive or substantial scientific evidence has shown that marijuana products are effective at treating chronic pain, calming muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and easing nausea from chemotherapy, the report said. However, there's little to no evidence supporting any of the other numerous health claims related to marijuana, the report said. And there's a downside as well – marijuana use comes with a host of potential health risks, whether someone is using the drug medicinally or recreationally, according to the report. The report calls on government to ease regulations that hamper research into marijuana, so scientists can sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Chronic Pain, Muscle Spasm, Social Anxiety Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle Pain, Schizophrenia, Breakthrough Pain, Schizoaffective Disorder, Cannabis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

Where Medical Pot Is Legal, Fatal Car Crashes Often Decline

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21, 2016 – Traffic deaths have fallen in many – but not all – states with medical marijuana laws, a new study finds. The reason for this trend isn't clear, but the effect was most pronounced in younger drivers. That could mean that as marijuana becomes more easily accessible, more young people use it instead of alcohol, driving down drunk-driving rates, the researchers said. "The mechanisms by which medical marijuana laws reduce traffic fatalities mostly operate in those younger adults, a group also frequently involved in alcohol-related traffic fatalities," noted study author Julian Santaella-Tenorio. He's a doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. For the study, the Columbia team looked at 1985-2014 records from a federal government database on traffic fatalities. They found an average 11 percent reduction in such deaths in states ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Smoking, Breakthrough Pain, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

What You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid Painkiller

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – There are a number of questions you should ask if a doctor or other health care provider prescribes opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While approved to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, opioids can have serious side effects, and the United States is in the mist of an opioid overuse epidemic. First, ask why you need the medication, is it right for you, and are there non-opioid options? If your health care provider thinks an opioid painkiller is the best choice, ask the doctor to prescribe the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Find out when to call to follow-up with the health care provider on how well the opioid is working, as well as when and how to stop or taper off use of the drug, the FDA said in a news release. To reduce the risk of side effects, take the ... Read more

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

Opioids No Better Than Ibuprofen for Pain After Car Crash: Study

Posted 28 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – For treating persistent pain after a car crash, prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) are no more effective than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen, a new study finds. "You'd think there would be a wealth of studies comparing our 'go-to' pain meds, but there just aren't," said study lead author Dr. Francesca Beaudoin. She's an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert School of Medicine and an emergency room doctor at Rhode Island Hospital. "Now that opioids are under fire, it's forcing us to ask: 'What is the best treatment, who is it best for and under what conditions?' " Beaudoin said in a university news release. "As an emergency physician, I prescribe these drugs all the time. Does what I am giving to people have any impact on the pain outcomes that matter to them?" she ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Advil, Ultram, Breakthrough Pain, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone

New Spine Stimulation Device Provides Pain Relief

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – High-frequency electrical stimulation of the spinal cord may relieve severe chronic back pain more effectively than conventional low-frequency stimulation, a new study finds. In initial testing, the device – called the Senza system – reduced leg and back pain scores by at least half in 80 percent of patients. After two years, 76 percent of the patients with chronic back pain still had reduced pain, as did 73 percent of patients with chronic leg pain, the researchers found. "Over the last 40 years, we have used low-frequency stimulation for leg and back pain, and it was relatively successful with about 50 percent of patients getting about 50 percent of their pain relieved," said lead researcher Dr. Leonardo Kapural, of the Center for Clinical Research and Carolina's Pain Institute in Winston-Salem, N.C. Senza and other spinal cord stimulators deliver mild ... Read more

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

Researchers: We Found Area of Brain That Responds to Placebo

Posted 30 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 – Scientists say they've pinpointed the brain region linked to the placebo effect. The placebo effect occurs when a fake therapy – such as a sugar pill – leads to a significant decrease in pain or other health-related improvement. The finding could lead to improved treatment for the 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, the study authors said. Using a new type of MRI developed for the study, the investigators said they identified a region within the brain that responds to a placebo. "The new technology will allow physicians to see what part of the brain is activated during an individual's pain and choose the specific drug to target this spot," said study co-author Vania Apkarian, a professor of physiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. "It also will provide more evidence-based measurements. Physicians will be ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Chronic Pain, Breakthrough Pain

'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, Tramadol, Percocet, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Sciatica

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