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Managing Pain With Fewer Opioids After Joint Replacement

Posted 6 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018 – Using two or more pain control methods after hip and knee replacement surgery rather than opioid painkillers alone reduces risks to patients, a new study finds. "Patients need to be aware that there are ways to treat their pain during and after surgery in addition to opioids," said study author Dr. Stavros Memtsoudis. "If the doctor prescribes more than one type of ...

Opioid ODs Outpacing Other 'Deaths of Despair'

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 13, 2018 – Though fewer Americans are dying from alcohol abuse, suicide and murder, opioid overdose deaths have risen dramatically in recent decades, a new report finds. And some regions of the United States are bearing the brunt of these "deaths of despair," the researchers discovered. "Unless more effective policies are developed and programs implemented, drug use disorders will ...

Certain Teens More Likely to Get Hooked on Opioids

Posted 8 days ago by

MONDAY, March 12, 2018 – Teenagers with any mental health problem are more prone to painkiller dependence after receiving a prescription opioid, a new study finds. The odds of progressing to long-term opioid therapy can double, triple or more, depending on the kid's diagnosis and the other drugs prescribed to treat their disorder, the researchers said. The findings mirror earlier studies showing ...

ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Soaring: CDC

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 6, 2018 – America's opioid epidemic is escalating at breakneck speed, with tens of thousands of overdose victims spilling into the nation's emergency rooms seeking lifesaving treatment, a new government report shows. Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased nationwide and across all demographic groups between July 2016 and September 2017, according to ER records ...

Opioids Not Best Option for Back Pain, Arthritis, Study Finds

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 6, 2018 – Risky opioids are no better at controlling chronic back or arthritis pain than non-opioid drugs, including Tylenol or Motrin, new research finds. With opioid overdose deaths rising in the United States, the findings suggest addictive medications like oxycodone (OxyContin) or morphine don't have to be the first choice against crippling arthritis pain or chronic backache. ...

More U.S. Kids Landing in ICU From Opioids

Posted 15 days ago by

MONDAY, March 5, 2018 – A growing number of U.S. kids are ending up in the intensive care unit after overdosing on prescription painkillers or other opioids, a new study finds. Researchers found that between 2004 and 2015, the number of children and teens admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for an opioid overdose nearly doubled. That included teenagers who'd abused the drugs, and young ...

Is Herbal Drug Kratom a Health Friend or Foe?

Posted 18 days ago by

FRIDAY, March 2, 2018 – What's the truth about the herbal drug kratom? Is it a potentially dangerous opioid that needs to be tightly regulated, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has argued in recent months? Or is it a misunderstood natural product that provides people in pain an alternative to opioids, a point of view asserted by a number of scientists who've studied kratom? Disagreement ...

Some Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get Relief

Posted 21 Feb 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2018 – Some potentially good news for folks taking opioids for chronic pain: It's possible to slowly reduce the dosage without increasing discomfort, new research suggests. That's even true for people who've taken the drugs for a long time. One patient in the new study had used opioids for 38 years, the researchers said. "For some people, long-term opioids are necessary, but ...

Mouse Study Another Step Toward 'Heroin Vaccine'

Posted 21 Feb 2018 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – Researchers say they are one step closer to testing a heroin vaccine in humans – in what they hope will become an additional weapon in fighting America's opioid epidemic. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, in California, have developed an experimental vaccine that appears safe and effective in animals. It also has a long enough shelf-life to be practical. ...

Fatal Opioid ODs Drop for People Treated While Jailed

Posted 20 Feb 2018 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2018 – An opioid addiction treatment program for Rhode Island prison inmates appears to have significantly reduced overdose deaths among those who are released, researchers say. The program screens all inmates for opioid addiction and provides medications to treat the addiction. It was launched in 2016 and is the only program of its kind in the United States, according to the ...

Another Downside to Opioid Use: Pneumonia?

Posted 13 Feb 2018 by

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 – The bad news on opioids just keeps coming. Not only are these painkillers implicated in millions of cases of addiction and tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the United States, new research now suggests that taking opioids can increase your risk of getting a pneumococcal infection by about 60 percent. "The risk was increased even more for long-acting formulations, ...

Long-Term Opioid Use Down Among U.S. Vets: Study

Posted 8 Feb 2018 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7, 2018 – Recent efforts by the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to promote safe prescribing of opioid painkillers seem to be working. Opioid prescriptions by the VHA have declined since peaking in 2012, a new study finds. Key to the drop is decreases in long-term prescriptions, which carry greater risk for overdose and addiction, said the study's lead author, Katherine ...

How to Avoid Opioid Addiction After Surgery

Posted 30 Jan 2018 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 30, 2018 – Following surgery, many patients head home with prescriptions for 30 or more opioid painkillers – enough to trigger addiction, warns a leading group of anesthesiologists. The American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends using prescription painkillers sparingly, if at all, after surgery. "Nobody needs a prescription for 30 or 50 opioids, and even those who are in ...

Opioid Epidemic Also Taking Toll on Babies

Posted 22 Jan 2018 by

MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 – In yet another example of how far-reaching the fallout from America's opioid epidemic is, researchers report that babies exposed to these narcotics while in the womb run the risk of certain head and neck abnormalities. One is a twisting of the neck (torticollis) and the other is a flattening of the head (plagiocephaly), which often occurs in tandem with torticollis. In ...

Opioid Abuse Rises When Prescriptions Are Renewed

Posted 18 Jan 2018 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – How long you take opioid painkillers after surgery is a much stronger risk factor for addiction and overdose than the dosage of the opioids you take, researchers report. The new study included more than 560,000 people who were prescribed opioids such as OxyContin or Percocet after surgery. None had a history of recent or chronic opioid use. Each additional week of ...

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