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

Posted 4 days ago 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, Muscle Spasm, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Social Anxiety Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Breakthrough Pain, Cannabis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Lower Limb 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, Substance Abuse, Breakthrough Pain, 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, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

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, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Advil, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Ultram

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, Herniated Disc, Scoliosis, Breakthrough Pain, 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, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Review Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without Meds

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Popular drug-free methods of managing pain from such common conditions as headaches and arthritis appear to be effective, according to a new review. Millions of Americans seek pain relief through such alternatives as acupuncture, tai chi and yoga. But there has been little information to help doctors make recommendations about these approaches. "For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects. As a result, many people may turn to nondrug approaches to help manage their pain," study lead author Richard Nahin said in a U.S. government news release. "Our goal for this study was to provide relevant, high-quality information for primary care providers and for patients who suffer from chronic pain," Nahin added. He is lead epidemiologist at the U.S. National Center for Complementary ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Headache, Back Pain, Migraine, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Pain, Neuralgia, Migraine Prevention, Migraine Prophylaxis, Breakthrough Pain, New Daily Persistent Headache

Non-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Preliminary research in monkeys suggests that a new medication might be able to provide pain relief similar to opioid drugs such as OxyContin, but without the same potential for addiction or serious side effects. The experimental medication "has the potential to replace morphine as the gold standard for treating severe pain," said Andrew Coop. He's a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and is familiar with the new study findings. There's a critical need for a painkiller that packs the punch of drugs such as Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone), OxyContin (oxycodone) and morphine, but minus the negative effects, doctors say. The United States is currently in the throes of an opioid addiction epidemic. More than 40 Americans die every day due to the misuse of opioids, according to the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Chronic Pain, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Avinza, Breakthrough Pain

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, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Cancer, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Tylenol, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

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, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Tylenol, Chronic Pain, Opana

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, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

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