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Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing: Trouble for Older Adults?

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Preprogrammed doses of medications that can raise the risk of falls are often set too high for older hospital patients, new research shows. In the study, doctors looked at the records of 287 patients over the age of 65 who fell while staying in a large urban hospital. Some patients fell more than once, adding to a total of 328 falls in the study. Of those falls, 62 percent occurred in patients who had been given at least one high-risk medication in the 24 hours before their fall. Of that 62 percent, 16 percent had been given two high-risk medicines, while another 16 percent had been given three or more. And 41 percent of the medications studied were electronically set at doses that were greater than recommended for older patients. The 29 medicines examined included opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants and ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Ambien, Valium, Codeine, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex, Dilaudid

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

Posted 9 days ago 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

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 15 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

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, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

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, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans

'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

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

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, Opana ER, Roxicodone

College Students Using More Pot, Fewer Opioids

Posted 8 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2016 – American college students' use of marijuana continues to increase, but the appeal of other drugs, including amphetamines and opioids, may be waning, a new study found. The proportion of college students who reported past-year use of marijuana rose from 30 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2015, according to the study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Daily or near-daily pot use (20 or more times in the previous 30 days) reached nearly 6 percent in 2014 – the highest level of daily use in the last 34 years. But it then fell slightly to less than 5 percent in 2015, researchers found. One possible reason for growing use of marijuana may be a decrease in perceived risk. The proportion of young adults ages 19 to 22 who consider regular marijuana use dangerous fell from 58 percent in 2003 to 33 percent in 2015, according to the report. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Adderall, Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Adderall XR, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Amphetamine, Endocet, Duragesic, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine, Actiq

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, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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

Synthetic Fentanyl Fueling Surge in Overdose Deaths: CDC

Posted 25 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2016 – Deaths from overdoses of the synthetic narcotic fentanyl have surged in recent years, U.S. health officials say in a troubling new report. As more fentanyl was sold illegally on the streets, the number of fatal overdoses jumped 79 percent in 27 states from 2013 to 2014, the government report found, while law enforcement seizures of the drug increased 426 percent in eight of those 27 states. "Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it is available by prescription, but evidence indicates that illicitly made fentanyl is more likely a powder mixed with heroin and or sold as heroin," said report author R. Matthew Gladden. He's a behavioral scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fentanyl crisis is being driven by products made illegally, not by the diversion of prescription fentanyl, Gladden ... Read more

Related support groups: Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Drug Dependence, Duragesic, Substance Abuse, Poisoning, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Subsys, Duragesic-50, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Fentanyl Transdermal, Duragesic-12, Benzodiazepine Overdose, Droperidol/Fentanyl, Duragesic-75

Health Tip: Work Through Chronic Pain

Posted 25 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Chronic pain can significantly affect your quality of life, physical health and mental health. The Cleveland Clinic suggests these coping techniques: Practice deep breathing and other stress management methods to help you relax. Maintain a positive attitude. Create goals that are attainable. Remember to pace yourself and don't do too much at once. Establish a schedule that makes time for relaxation and exercise. Join a chronic pain support group. Talk with your doctor about how your medications work and side effects. Limit alcohol, and don't smoke. Read more

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

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