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Gabapentin May Help Surgical Patients Stop Opioids Sooner

Posted 13 Dec 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 – Opioid painkillers after surgery can be the first step toward addiction for some patients. But a common drug might cut the amount of narcotics that patients need, a new study finds. When patients received a non-opioid medication called gabapentin before and after surgery, the need for continued opioid painkillers was reduced by 24 percent, said researchers at Stanford ...

Number of Americans With Epilepsy at Record Level

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – More Americans than ever are living with epilepsy, federal health officials reported Thursday. According to the new report, 1.2 percent of the population – about 3 million adults and 470,000 children – were being treated for epilepsy or had experienced recent seizures in 2015, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The number of ...

Doctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by

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. ...

Is Infant Drug Withdrawal Likelier When Opioids Used With Psychiatric Drugs?

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – More U.S. babies go through drug withdrawal after birth these days, and researchers say doctors' prescribing practices are partly to blame. Moms-to-be who take prescription opioid painkillers plus psychiatric drugs for depression or anxiety have a 30 to 60 percent greater risk of giving birth to an infant in withdrawal than those taking opioids alone, researchers found. ...

What Drugs Work Best for Diabetic Nerve Pain?

Posted 25 Mar 2017 by

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 – Nerve pain and numbness, also known as neuropathy, is a debilitating but common symptom of diabetes. Now, new research suggests certain drugs may outperform others in treating diabetic neuropathy. The new review of the data on the subject was led by Julie Waldfogel of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Her team noted that about half of people with diabetes have some ...

1 in 5 Opioid Users Also Might Be Abusing Seizure Drug: Study

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – Opioid medication users may be abusing and misusing the seizure and nerve pain drug gabapentin, a new study finds. Researchers looked at test results of 323 patients who were prescribed opioid pain medications. The patients were being treated at pain or rehabilitation clinics, primarily in Arizona, Indiana and Massachusetts. About one in five of the patients tested ...

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – While the dangers of overdose among patients prescribed powerful opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and fentanyl are well known, a new study found unexpected heart risks with the medications. Patients who had just been prescribed an opioid painkiller had a 64 percent higher risk of early death when compared to patients who were given an alternative pain medication. But ...

Acupuncture Best for Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

Posted 25 Aug 2015 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – Needles beat pills for treating hot flashes in breast cancer survivors, according to a new trial that compared acupuncture, "sham" acupuncture, the medication gabapentin and a placebo pill. Interestingly, sham acupuncture came in second place for effectiveness, the researchers said. Furthermore, the effects of acupuncture were "significant and enduring for hot flashes ...

Drugs May Help Relieve Restless Legs Syndrome

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by

MONDAY, March 4 – People suffering from restless legs syndrome may find some relief by taking one of several drugs approved to treat the condition, a new review confirms. The medications, which include Requip (ropinirole), levodopa, Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin), appear to reduce symptoms of the syndrome in more than 60 percent of patients, researchers report. The first two ...

Chronic Cough Responds to Epilepsy Drug, Study Finds

Posted 28 Aug 2012 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 – A drug commonly used to control epileptic seizures and pain, gabapentin, also appears to ease hard-to-treat chronic coughs, a new study says. Chronic cough affects 11 percent to 16 percent of the population, the researchers report. The exact cause is unknown, but it might relate to a malfunction in a part of the brain that causes coughing. Gabapentin works by suppressing that ...

Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds

Posted 2 Mar 2012 by

FRIDAY, March 2 – Medications taken by millions of Americans for mood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions can have an unhealthy side effect: weight gain. While other choices exist for some types of drugs, adjusting medications is not simply a matter of switching, said Ryan Roux, chief pharmacy officer with the Harris County Hospital District, in Houston. In the ...

New Guidelines Issued for Common Tremor Disorder

Posted 19 Oct 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 – An antiseizure drug called primidone (Mysoline) and a high blood pressure drug called propranolol (Inderal) are the most effective medicines to treat shaking in people with essential tremor, according to an updated treatment guideline from the American Academy of Neurology. Essential tremor, which affects about 10 million people in the United States, is the most common type ...

Hormonal Treatment of Hot Flashes Still OK for Some: Experts

Posted 18 Oct 2011 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 – Women do have options when it comes to treating hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, and these still include the short-term use of hormone replacement therapy using estrogen alone, experts conclude in a new consensus report. "Hormone replacement therapy should be considered a very reasonable option for recently menopausal women who have moderate-to-severe hot flashes ...

Newer Epilepsy Meds Less Likely to Cause Birth Defects: Study

Posted 17 May 2011 by

TUESDAY, May 17 – Newer epilepsy medications don't increase the risk of major birth defects in women taking these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to new research. But because the drugs are relatively new, further studies are needed to get a clearer picture of their safety profile, experts said. In a large study of children born in Denmark, including those exposed to ...

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