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'No Documented Reason' for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: Study

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 – The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction. But now, research shows that in nearly a third of cases there's no medical reason documented for opioids prescribed in an outpatient setting. The findings show the need for stricter rules on recording patients' needs for the highly addictive drugs, the research team said. When medical records ...

Opium Poppy Genome Research May Aid Painkiller Production

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 3, 2018 – Scientists who decoded the opium poppy genome say the breakthrough might improve production of the plant to provide a cheap, reliable supply of pain relievers and other medications. The opium poppy is used to make the cough suppressant noscapine, and the painkillers morphine and codeine. "Biochemists have been curious for decades about how plants have evolved to become ...

FDA takes action against 21 websites marketing unapproved opioids as part of agency’s effort to target illegal online sales

Posted 28 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

August 28, 2018 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it has warned four more online networks, operating a total of 21 websites, illegally marketing potentially dangerous, unapproved, and misbranded versions of opioid medications, including tramadol. The warning letters issued by the FDA to each of the networks state that they must immediately stop illegally selling these ...

Government Rules Aimed at Curbing Opioid Prescriptions May Have Backfired

Posted 23 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 23, 2018 – As the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic widened, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) placed the prescription painkillers in a tougher-to-refill category. Many states also mandated monitoring programs to spot overprescribing by doctors. But two new studies suggest these steps, while well-intentioned, may have led to more opioids – not fewer – being given to ...

Number of Opioid-Addicted Women Giving Birth Quadruples

Posted 10 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 – The number of pregnant women addicted to opioids as they give birth has more than quadrupled since 1999, a disturbing new report shows. In 2014, for every 1,000 hospital deliveries, 6.5 were mothers who arrived at the hospital with opioid use disorder, up from 1.5 per 1,000 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers found. This increase is ...

Doctors Write Fewer Opioid Scripts After Learning of Overdose Death

Posted 10 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9, 2018 – Doctors prescribed fewer opioid pain medications after receiving letters from a medical examiner informing them of a patient's fatal overdose, a new study says. Many people who die of opioid overdoses got addicted to the drugs after they were prescribed for common problems. This study included 861 doctors in San Diego County who prescribed opioids to 170 patients who ...

As Opioid Epidemic Rages, Painkiller Prescriptions Don't Drop

Posted 2 Aug 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 – In a sign that the U.S. opioid epidemic is still not under control, a new report shows that prescriptions for the highly addictive painkillers haven't declined in the last decade. After peaking in 2012-2013, opioid use and doses leveled off. But doses were still higher in 2017 than in 2007, and opioid use was particularly high among older patients suffering chronic ...

Most Seniors Uninformed on Opioid Use

Posted 31 Jul 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 31, 2018 – A new survey suggests health care professionals are giving short shrift to their older patients when it comes to explaining the risks of opioid painkillers. Researchers found that most older Americans who are prescribed opioids aren't advised about the dangers of the drugs, how to use fewer of them, when to use non-opioid alternatives, or what to do with leftover ...

Sprained Ankle? Opioid Rx More Likely in Some States Than Others

Posted 26 Jul 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 26, 2018 – If you wind up in the emergency room with a minor injury, the likelihood you will be prescribed unnecessary opioids may depend on where the hospital is located, new research suggests. For example, such prescriptions were much less likely to be offered in hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and North Dakota, while they were much more likely to be ...

Opioids Before Joint Replacement Tied to Worse Recovery

Posted 25 Jul 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 – Prolonged use of opioid painkillers before total knee or hip replacement may greatly increase a patient's risk of repeat surgery and hospitalization, a new study says. Opioid use should be considered yet another risk factor for surgeons and patients to consider before elective joint replacement, wrote lead researcher Dr. Hue Luu and his colleagues from the University ...

Risky Prescribing Boosts Opioid Death Risk

Posted 25 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 25, 2018 – When opioid pain medications, such as OxyContin, are prescribed in a risky manner, that increases a patient's chances of death. That's the conclusion of a new study by RAND Corporation researchers who analyzed prescribing data in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2015, and found that half of adults received at least one opioid prescription during that time. In addition, at least ...

Patients on Opioids OK With Lower Doses

Posted 8 Jun 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 8, 2018 – Even patients who have taken high doses of opioid painkillers for long periods of time aren't unhappy with their care when their doctor lowers their dose, new research suggests. The study included nearly 2,500 patients with chronic pain who had been on high doses of opioids for at least six straight months. The researchers compared patient satisfaction scores between those ...

Hospitals Should, and Could, Avoid IV Opioids: Study

Posted 14 May 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 14, 2018 – When it comes to pain management for hospital patients, opioid pills or injections are less dangerous and just as effective as giving the drug intravenously, a new study shows. The results "have the potential to be practice-changing," study author Dr. Adam Ackerman, clinical instructor in internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine, said in a university news release. The ...

Walmart Announces New Measures to Cut Opioid Abuse

Posted 8 May 2018 by Drugs.com

Walmart Inc. says it will take more steps to reduce opioid medication abuse and misuse. Earlier this year, the company announced free opioid medication disposal in all its U.S. pharmacies. On Monday, the company said that within the next 60 days, Walmart and Sam's Club will restrict initial acute opioid prescriptions to no more than a seven-day supply, with up to a 50 morphine milligram ...

Non-Opioids Often Underused After Back Surgery

Posted 8 May 2018 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 8, 2018 – Spine and joint surgery patients aren't taking advantage of common pain relievers like Tylenol or Motrin during their recovery, researchers say. Instead, many are given opioids, such as oxycodone (OxyContin) or hydrocodone (Vicodin). These highly addictive narcotics are potentially deadly when abused. The United States is currently grappling with an ongoing opioid ...

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