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Alzheimer's Patients' Use of Painkilling Patches Cause for Concern

Posted 14 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Long-term use of powerful opioid painkillers may be common among Alzheimer's disease patients and could be a cause for concern, researchers report. Researchers analyzed data from more than 67,000 Alzheimer's disease patients in Finland. They found that 7 percent had used opioids for more than six months for non-cancer pain relief. One-third of patients who began using opioids became long-term users, and researchers found a strong link between opioid skin patches and long-term use. While rates of long-term opioid use was about the same as in the general population, long-term use of skin patches was twice as common among Alzheimer's patients, the study showed. People in the general population more often took pills. The University of Eastern Finland researchers also found that long-term opioid use together with benzodiazepines was common. They said the finding is ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Xanax, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Chronic Pain, Opana, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Subutex

These Medicines Often Send Americans to ERs

Posted 17 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

Health Tip: Reading the Label on OTC Medications

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Knowing how to properly use over-the-counter medications can help prevent serious reactions and interactions. Here's how to read labels, courtesy of the American Academy of Family Physicians: The active ingredient, or ingredients, is the first thing on the label and it is the chemical that works to manage the symptoms. Uses, or indications, explain what conditions this medication can treat. Warnings provide safety information, including whether or not you should consult a doctor, side effects and what to avoid when you take this medication. Directions tell you how often to take a medicine and exactly how much to take. Other information explains other important details, such as storage recommendations. Inactive ingredients explain chemicals included that don't treat symptoms. This includes things such as binding agents or preservatives. Questions and comments provides information ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Percocet, Cancer, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Asthma, Fever, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Heart Disease, Meloxicam, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Aleve, Mobic, Fioricet, Motrin

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, Benzodiazepine Overdose, Duragesic-100, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Duragesic-25, Duragesic-50, Subsys, Fentanyl/Ropivacaine, Fentanyl Transdermal, Duragesic-12, Onsolis, Lazanda

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

Veterans' Painkiller Abuse Can Raise Odds for Heroin Use

Posted 23 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 – Veterans who misuse narcotic painkillers may be at high risk for heroin use, a new study cautions. The research included nearly 3,400 U.S. veterans who had never misused painkillers or used heroin. Their health was followed for 10 years. During that time, 500 of them began using heroin. Of those, 77 percent misused opioid painkillers before they started using heroin. Other risk factors for heroin use included being male, being black and abusing stimulant drugs, the study found. The findings highlight the need for health care providers who treat veterans to watch closely for signs of opioid painkiller misuse, the researchers said. "This study quantifies the issue of starting painkiller misuse and heroin use in a specific, high-risk population – veterans around the U.S.," said corresponding author Brandon Marshall, an assistant professor in the School of Public ... Read more

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

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