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Longer Prescriptions Make Opioid Abuse More Likely: Study

Posted 23 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – A short-term painkiller prescription is less likely to lead to opioid use disorder than a longer supply of pain pills, a new study suggests. "Compared to someone prescribed two days versus seven days, that person with a seven-day supply is twice as likely to be using opioids in the long term," said study senior author Bradley Martin. After looking at a decade's worth of medical records, Martin and his team concluded that "the days supplied is far more important than the dosage level or even the type of pain being treated." The United States is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Powerful narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and morphine killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Martin, a pharmacist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Many Prescribed Opioids Even After Overdose

Posted 1 day 5 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – After treatment for an opioid overdose, many Medicaid patients continue to receive prescriptions for the same type of drugs that nearly killed them, researchers say. Moreover, few overdose patients are prescribed anti-addiction medications after hospital discharge, the University of Pittsburgh investigators found. The researchers studied more than 6,000 people who survived an overdose from an opioid – a class of drugs including painkillers like morphine and OxyContin (oxycodone), synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and heroin. "Forty percent of those with a heroin overdose and 60 percent of those with a prescription opioid overdose filled a prescription in the six months after overdose for the very kind of medication that contributed to the overdose in the first place," said lead researcher Julie Donohue. She's an associate professor of health policy and ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Heroin, Opana ER, Roxicodone

Hernia Patients May Need Fewer Opioids After Surgery, Study Finds

Posted 2 days 3 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – Hernia surgery patients may require far fewer opioid painkillers than they're prescribed, new research suggests. The study included 186 adult patients who had elective inguinal ("groin") hernia repair surgery under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. Each patient received a prescription for 10 tablets of the opioid painkiller Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) to ease their post-surgery pain. But they were also encouraged to use non-opioid medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to manage their pain whenever possible. The researchers found that 86 percent of the patients used less than half of their prescribed Vicodin. Almost two-thirds used no Vicodin at all, relying totally on non-opioid pain medications. "The implication of our study is that, even though surgeons have been careful to limit the number of opioid tablets ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocodone, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet, Excedrin, Darvocet-N 100, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol PM, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Health Tip: Throwing Out Leftover Medicine

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

--If your medicine cabinet is chock-full of expired or unneeded medications, you can throw them out properly without endangering your family or harming the environment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration describes how: Follow any disposal instructions that came with your meds. If there are no disposal instructions, remove the drugs from their containers and mix the meds with something like used coffee grounds or used kitty litter. These substances should make the medications less appealing to people or pets. Place the mixture in a sealed bag to prevent leakage. Scratch out prescription labels to protect your identity. Don't flush medication down the sink or toilet. Until the meds are disposed of properly, store them safely away from children and pets. Check if any nearby hospitals, pharmacies or retailers are registered as collectors with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Some ... Read more

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

Study Finds Options to Opioid Use After Knee Surgery

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Alternative drug-free interventions to manage pain, including acupuncture and electrotherapy, may help reduce the need for prescription painkillers after knee replacement surgery, a new review suggests. "As prescription opioid use is under national scrutiny and because surgery has been identified as an avenue for addiction, it is important to recognize effective alternatives to standard pharmacological therapy, which remains the first option for treatment," the study team wrote. The finding stems from an in-depth look at 39 already-completed studies. These studies included nearly 2,400 total knee replacement patients. The studies looked at a number of different alternative treatments, including acupuncture and electrotherapy (the use of electrical energy to stimulate nerves and muscles). The researchers also included studies of cryotherapy (involving the ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Roxicodone, Knee Joint Replacement, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Orthopedic Surgery, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES

Hospitals Not to Blame for Most Opioid Addiction: Study

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Painkiller prescriptions that lead to prolonged opioid use tend to be written by doctors in outpatient settings, not hospitals, new research indicates. Initial use of opioids such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) is most often tied to spine and orthopedic disorders, but not surgery, said researcher and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Moreover, addictive painkiller use is often not the recommended course of treatment for these conditions, he added. "In light of the opioid crisis, we thought it was important to investigate the extent to which spine surgical interventions were responsible for initiating a process that culminates in sustained opioid drug use," Schoenfeld said. The findings – based on more than 100,000 insured Americans – go against the commonly held notion that chronic opioid ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Fatal Opioid ODs on the Rise Among U.S. Teens

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – The rate of opioid drug overdose deaths among older teenagers in the United States has taken a turn for the worse, a new federal report finds. The number of drug overdose deaths among 15- to 19-year-olds rose 15 percent for males from 2014 to 2015 and 35 percent for females from 2013 to 2015, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the disturbing numbers may not simply be a case of the well-publicized epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse spreading to another age group. "These trends fit into the overall picture: Overdose of opioid pills is the bigger problem among middle age and older age groups, while heroin and heroin contaminated by fentanyl are a huge problem among younger people," said Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies drug use. The report, from the ... Read more

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

Opioid Overdoses and Deaths Flooding U.S. Hospitals

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – There's been a sharp rise in opioid-related admissions and deaths in hospital intensive care units across the United States, a new study finds. Opioids are pain medications, such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). "This study tells us that the opioid epidemic has made people sicker and killed more people, in spite of all the care we can provide in the ICU, including mechanical ventilation, acute dialysis, life support and round-the-clock care," said study lead author Dr. Jennifer Stevens. She is associate director of the medical intensive care unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. For the study, researchers reviewed data from nearly 23 million adult hospital admissions. The admissions were from 162 hospitals in 44 states. They occurred from 2009 to 2015. From this group, the investigators identified almost 22,000 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

Trump to Declare Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration is preparing to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency. Such a move would offer state and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic, CNN reported. "The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officials, right now, it is an emergency. It is a national emergency," Trump said while on vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. "We are going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis." "We are going to draw it up, and we are going to make it a national emergency. It's a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had," he added. Trump's statement came two days after the release of a federal report that said drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation's ongoing opioid ... Read more

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

U.S. Opioid Crisis Continues to Worsen

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – Drug overdose deaths continue to climb in the United States, despite efforts to combat the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis, a new federal report states. The drug overdose death rate reached 19.9 cases for every 100,000 people during the late summer of 2016, compared with 16.7 cases per 100,000 the year before, the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) stated in its quarterly mortality report. The 12-month overdose death rate also showed an increase. The rate was 18.5 overdose deaths per 100,000 people for the 12-month period ending in September 2016, compared with 16.1 deaths per 100,000 during the same period a year before, the NCHS said. The increase shows that drug deaths have continued to rise from 2015, which itself had been a record-breaking year for overdose deaths. A total 52,404 people died from overdose in 2015, a 75 percent ... Read more

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

Americans Taking More Prescription Drugs Than Ever: Survey

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 – A new survey finds 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription medicine – and they're taking more than ever. Those who use a prescription drug take four, on average, and many also take over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, the survey done by Consumer Reports shows. But many of those pills may be unnecessary and might do more harm than good, according to a special report in the September issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Among those who take prescription drugs, 53 percent get them from more than one health care provider, which increases the risk of adverse drug effects. More than a third say no provider has reviewed their medicines to see if all are necessary. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents who regularly take prescription medicine asked their prescribers whether they could stop taking a drug, and 71 percent were ... Read more

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

Doctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

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. Allan Brett. He's a professor of clinical internal medicine with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia. However, the drugs might not be doing any good for many people suffering from chronic pain, Brett said. That's because the medications are only FDA-approved to treat certain types of pain. Yet, "increasing numbers of patients [are] being prescribed either of these drugs for any kind of pain symptoms," he said. Brett and co-author Dr. Christopher Goodman, an assistant ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Morphine, Ativan, Lyrica, Valium, Codeine

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

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

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. Moreover, use of two or more psychiatric drugs in addition to opioids was associated with a twofold increased risk of infant withdrawal, said lead researcher Krista Huybrechts. She's an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. In particular, antidepressants, benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and the seizure drug gabapentin (Neurontin) greatly increase the risk and severity of drug withdrawal symptoms in newborns when used with prescription opioids during pregnancy, ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Clonazepam, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine, Lortab

2 of 3 U.S. Patients Keep Unused Painkillers After Surgery

Posted 2 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Surgery patients are usually prescribed opioids to ease postoperative pain, but more than two-thirds end up with leftover narcotics and don't get rid of them, according to a new report. Moreover, most patients who have the extra opioid pills don't lock them away, but leave them accessible to possible abuse by others, the researchers said. "We were surprised to find that the number was as high as it was," said lead researcher Dr. Mark Bicket. He is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "It's likely that we – as physicians who care for patients with pain after surgery – need to do a better job of educating patients about how to take pain medication, how to store that medication and what to do with it once they're done with the medication," Bicket added. Saving unneeded ... Read more

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

Policy Changes Reduced Use of Certain Prescription Opioids: Study

Posted 1 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 1, 2017 – Tighter U.S. government restrictions on prescription painkillers containing hydrocodone led to reduced use of opioid medications such as Vicodin, a new study says. Between 2007 and 2014, more prescriptions were written in the United States for Vicodin (hydrocodone-acetaminophen) than for any other medication. In order to tighten restrictions and reduce abuse, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2014 reclassified hydrocodone-containing products as schedule 2 controlled substances. Schedule 2 drugs are those with a high potential for abuse and dependence. Drugs in this group include cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and oxycodone. Although hydrocodone prescriptions subsequently declined, it wasn't clear whether overall use changed, or whether addicts had simply begun using the drug illicitly, said researchers at University of California, San Diego Health. "We ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

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