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Doctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Physicians might be relying too heavily on "off-label" use of epilepsy drugs as an alternative to prescribing narcotic painkillers, two experts in internal medicine contend. Doctors are prescribing the anti-seizure drugs gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) to treat pain more frequently, partly in response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, said Dr. Allan Brett. He's a professor of clinical internal medicine with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. However, the drugs might not be doing any good for many people suffering from chronic pain, Brett said. That's because the medications are only FDA-approved to treat certain types of pain. Yet, "increasing numbers of patients [are] being prescribed either of these drugs for any kind of pain symptoms," he said. Brett and co-author Dr. Christopher Goodman, an assistant ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Morphine, Ativan, Lyrica, Valium

JFK's Long, Silent Struggle With Back Pain

Posted 11 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 11, 2017 – Contrary to his youthful, vibrant public image, former President John F. Kennedy privately battled chronic, debilitating back pain much of his life. A new report chronicles JFK's pain issues and the many treatments he received throughout the years. The report includes private details – from multiple failed spinal surgeries and narcotic injections, to use of a back brace that some believe may have played a role in his death. "He went through the wringer visiting different surgeons and physicians and experts in their field – well-known people," said study co-author Dr. Justin Dowdy. He is a neurosurgeon and partner at Hot Springs Neurosurgery Clinic in Arkansas. While Kennedy's care would be different today due to advances in surgery and imaging technology, Dowdy doesn't see reason to second-guess clinicians' recommendations at the time. "They did the best they ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Surgery, Suboxone, Chronic Pain, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Meloxicam, Sciatica, Advil, Diclofenac, Breakthrough Pain, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Herniated Disc

Reaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat Pain

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teaching coping skills may help reduce the risk that patients with chronic pain will become addicted to opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "If we lower how many opioids patients are taking, but leave them disabled and not able to live their lives, that is not helpful," said study co-author Dr. Aliza Weinrib, a clinical psychologist in Ontario, Canada. "Patients can learn to respond to their pain in a different way, making it less overwhelming. They don't have to be so tied to their medications," added Weinrib, who works with surgical patients at Toronto General Hospital. Many addiction specialists believe widespread use of powerful prescription painkillers led to the current heroin and opioid epidemic ravaging much of North America. The study included more than 300 patients who developed chronic pain after major surgery – pain that lasted more than three ... Read more

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

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, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Acetaminophen, Lortab, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex

Depressed Back Pain Patients Often Get Opioids

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said. "There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York. The analysis of nationwide data on nearly 5,400 people from 2004 to 2009 found that patients with back pain who screened positive for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid painkiller. Over a year's time, they also got more than twice the typical dose, the study found. The researchers said learning ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Back Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Major Depressive Disorder, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex

Yoga Soothes Back Pain in Study

Posted 19 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – If you suffer from chronic low back pain, yoga might bring you as much relief as physical therapy, a new trial shows. The less positive finding: Both therapies fell far short of helping everyone. People who did yoga or physical therapy reported less pain on average after 12 weeks – an improvement that held up over a year. And some were able to cut out pain medication. Still, many failed to get meaningful relief, the researchers noted. Experts said the findings reflect the reality of chronic low back pain: No single treatment has proven widely effective. "We do not have any magic bullet," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Saper. According to guidelines published earlier this year by the American College of Physicians (ACP), non-drug options should be the first-line treatment against low back pain. That's largely because pain medications and other drugs are not ... Read more

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

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

Posted 19 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency room patients, a new study reports. "While acupuncture is widely used by practitioners in community settings for treating pain, it is rarely used in hospital emergency departments," said study lead investigator Marc Cohen. He is a professor in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The study – billed as the world's largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in the emergency department – included 528 patients. The study participants were seen at four Australian emergency departments for acute low back pain, migraines or ankle sprains. Patients who said their level of pain was at least 4 on a 10-point scale received one of three treatments: acupuncture alone; acupuncture with painkillers; or painkillers alone. One hour ... Read more

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

Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Pain that continues, day in and day out, may trigger an unexpected and unwanted side effect – a bigger risk of mental decline and dementia, a new study suggests. The findings suggest that chronic pain may be related to changes in the brain that contribute to memory problems. The findings may also point to new ways to protect age-related mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers said. However, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It can only show an association between pain and memory issues. The study included information on more than 10,000 people. All of the study participants were 60 and older. Those who had moderate or severe chronic pain in both 1998 and 2000 had more than a 9 percent faster decline on memory tests over the next 10 years than those who didn't ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression, a new study finds. More than 5,000 adults in Brazil diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder were asked about other health problems. Among those with a mood disorder, half reported chronic pain; 33 percent, respiratory diseases; 10 percent, heart disease; 9 percent, arthritis; and 7 percent, diabetes. Among those with anxiety, 45 percent reported chronic pain; 30 percent, respiratory diseases; and 11 percent each for arthritis and heart disease. Adults with two or more chronic diseases had an increased risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. High blood pressure was associated with both disorders at 23 percent, according to the Columbia University study published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Senior author Dr. Silvia Martins said ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Effexor, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Prozac, Vicodin

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, Depo-Medrol, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack, A-methapred, Methylprednisolone Topical, Methacort 80, Hybrisil, Decadron with Xylocaine, Medipred, Dexamethasone/Lidocaine, Methylcotolone

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, Back Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, 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, Cafergot, Relpax, Zomig, Midrin, Treximet, 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, Valrelease, Diastat AcuDial

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, Back Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, Naproxen, Opana

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

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