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Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 28 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 28, 2017 – More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals. Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found. The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007. "The frequent ...

Doctors Prescribing Too Many Opioids After Nose Jobs

Posted 9 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 9, 2017 – Could some patients recovering from a nose job get a problem they didn't bargain for? After these operations, patients are often sent home with more opioid pain pills than they need, increasing the risk for misuse, researchers say. About 218,000 cosmetic nose surgeries were performed in the United States in 2015. In fact, "rhinoplasty" is one of the most common plastic ...

Opioids Not the Only Answer for Pain Relief in the ER

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep across the United States, a new study suggests that a combination of Motrin and Tylenol may work as well as narcotic painkillers for ER patients who suffer sprains or fractures. "Although this study focused on treatment while in the emergency department, if we can successfully treat acute extremity pain with a non-opioid ...

People Tend to Overestimate Pain From Surgery

Posted 4 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 – Many patients overestimate the amount of pain they'll experience after surgery, resulting in needless anxiety, a new study reports. "We believe providers need to do a better job of counseling patients on realistic pain expectations," said study co-author Dr. Jaime Baratta, director of regional anesthesia at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The research ...

Taking Four or More Prescription Meds? Consider Scaling Back

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – More than half of Americans regularly take about four prescription medications, increasing the likelihood that mistakes could occur, according to Consumer Reports. People taking multiple prescription medications should visit their doctor for a "medication checkup." By showing their doctor or pharmacist a comprehensive list of every drug they are taking, including ...

Fentanyl Driving Surge in Fatal U.S. Opioid Overdoses

Posted 27 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 – Extremely powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanil, were directly responsible for more than half of thousands of opioid overdose deaths across many states in 2016, a new report finds. Most often, fentanyl and even more potent "fentanyl analog" drugs – such as carfentanil – were mixed into the heroin that addicts were using, often without their ...

Opioid Addiction a Danger After Weight-Loss Surgery

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – People who turn to surgery in their struggle with obesity may be more vulnerable to opioid dependence after their procedure, new research suggests. Long-term use of these powerful yet highly addictive painkillers is more common after weight-loss surgery than after general surgery, the researchers reported. "Patients undergoing bariatric [weight-loss] surgery may be ...

U.S. Opioid Painkiller Abuse May Be Leveling Off

Posted 23 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2017 – The number of Americans abusing prescription painkillers has leveled off in recent years, but there is no apparent decline yet. That's the finding of a new study tracking the U.S. opioid abuse problem. Researchers found that after a large spike in the early 2000s, Americans' misuse of prescription opioid painkillers has plateaued in recent years. Still, the issue isn't ...

Hepatitis C Screening May Boost Opioid Treatment Success

Posted 20 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Opioid abuse therapy may be more effective if patients are screened for hepatitis C as part of the program, a new Canadian study says. The research found a sharp drop in opioid abuse among patients after they were told they tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C causes liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer and ...

Around the World, Too Little Relief for Pain

Posted 13 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Tens of millions of people worldwide who die in severe physical and mental distress each year could have an easier death if low-cost pain drugs were available in their countries, a new report says. Children account for more than 2.5 million of the almost 26 million people with serious illnesses who receive no palliative care or pain relief, according to the report. The ...

Medicare Could Do More to Stem Opioid Epidemic

Posted 10 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 – Medicare places few limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions, even in the face of recent U.S. government guidelines, researchers report. Yale University scientists say Medicare plans for people 65 and older are untapped resources for curbing the unnecessary use and abuse of drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). "People are looking for any way to ...

Heroin Taking Bigger Share of U.S. Opioid ODs

Posted 2 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2017 – New U.S. hospital overdose data suggests that drug addicts are turning from prescription opioid painkillers to heroin as an easier way to get high, researchers report. Hospital and emergency room treatment rates for prescription opioid overdoses (such as OxyContin) decreased annually by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2014. This was about the same time tough new ...

Post-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Amid efforts to stem the U.S. opioid crisis, a new study suggests how long patients should take prescription opioid painkillers after surgery. After general surgery, the ideal duration is four to nine days, said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. For women's health procedures, four to 13 days is appropriate, while six to 15 days of narcotic ...

CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign to reduce overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from prescription opioid overdoses such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The goal of the CDC's Rx Awareness campaign is to increase ...

ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter Durations

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Emergency room doctors write lower-dose, shorter-term prescriptions for opioids than other doctors do, new research shows. The study, led by scientists at the Mayo Clinic, challenges views that emergency departments are the main source of prescriptions for the powerful painkillers whose use – and misuse – has soared in recent years. The research also suggests that ...

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