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Codeine Not Safe for Kids, Pediatricians Warn

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 19, 2016 – Codeine is unsafe for children and should no longer be given to them, a new report from a leading pediatricians' group warns. Codeine has been used to treat kids' pain and coughs for decades "because we thought it was safer than other narcotics," said report author Dr. Joseph Tobias. But doctors have learned that the way codeine is processed in the body is very dangerous for children and can result in death, said Tobias, chief of anesthesiology and pain medicine for Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Codeine is converted by the liver into morphine, but genetic differences between people can prompt the liver to create too much morphine in some and too little in others, he explained. "Now, lo and behold, we're learning that due to this genetic variation it's a very dangerous medication," Tobias added. Children who rapidly metabolize codeine into an ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Cough, Morphine, Codeine, MS Contin, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Tylenol with Codeine 3, M O S, Avinza, Embeda, Codeine/Promethazine, Statuss, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, Fioricet with Codeine, MSIR, Roxanol, Robitussin-AC

FDA Medwatch Alert: Opioid Pain or Cough Medicines Combined With Benzodiazepines: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Requiring New Boxed Warnings About Serious Risks and Death

Posted 5 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA review has found that the growing combined use of opioid medicines with benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system (CNS) has resulted in serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing and deaths.  Opioids are used to treat pain and cough; benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. In an effort to decrease the use of opioids and benzodiazepines, or opioids and other CNS depressants, together, FDA is adding Boxed Warnings, our strongest warnings, to the drug labeling of prescription opioid pain and prescription opioid cough medicines, and benzodiazepines. See the Drug Safety Communication for a listing of all approved prescription opioid pain and cough medicines, and benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants. FDA conducted and reviewed several studies showing that serious risks are associated with the combined ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Xanax, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Klonopin, Vicodin, Norco, Cough, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Morphine, Ativan, Valium, Codeine

Opioid Abuse Fueling Drug-Related Heart Infections: Study

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – The number of Americans hospitalized with heart infections caused by use of injected opioid drugs is on the rise, a new study indicates. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston said the finding is a disturbing outgrowth of a rising tide of opioid addiction in the United States. For the study, the researchers reviewed U.S. hospital admissions for infective endocarditis, a sometimes deadly infection of the heart valves. Although people born with abnormal valves and older adults with valve problems are at added risk for the condition, it can also result from injecting drugs. Injections can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, the researchers said. In 2013, 12 percent of hospitalizations for infective endocarditis were related to injection drug use, compared to 7 percent in 2000, the study team found. The actual number of cases rose to ... Read more

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

FDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD Risk

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – Mixing prescription opioid painkillers with a class of drugs that includes popular sedatives such as Valium and Xanax can cause a fatal overdose, U.S. health officials warned Wednesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it will require "boxed warnings" on 389 different products to inform health professionals and the public of this potentially lethal drug interaction, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said during a media briefing. Benzodiazepines – which include Valium and Xanax – affect the central nervous system, and are used to treat conditions like anxiety, insomnia and seizures, said Dr. Doug Throckmorton, deputy director of regulatory programs with the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. If benzodiazepines are combined with opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), a drug interaction can occur that ... Read more

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

Non-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Trials

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Preliminary research in monkeys suggests that a new medication might be able to provide pain relief similar to opioid drugs such as OxyContin, but without the same potential for addiction or serious side effects. The experimental medication "has the potential to replace morphine as the gold standard for treating severe pain," said Andrew Coop. He's a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and is familiar with the new study findings. There's a critical need for a painkiller that packs the punch of drugs such as Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone), OxyContin (oxycodone) and morphine, but minus the negative effects, doctors say. The United States is currently in the throes of an opioid addiction epidemic. More than 40 Americans die every day due to the misuse of opioids, according to the U.S. Centers for ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, OxyContin, Chronic Pain, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, Roxicet, M O S, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Avinza, Breakthrough Pain

Health Tip: Work Through Chronic Pain

Posted 25 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Chronic pain can significantly affect your quality of life, physical health and mental health. The Cleveland Clinic suggests these coping techniques: Practice deep breathing and other stress management methods to help you relax. Maintain a positive attitude. Create goals that are attainable. Remember to pace yourself and don't do too much at once. Establish a schedule that makes time for relaxation and exercise. Join a chronic pain support group. Talk with your doctor about how your medications work and side effects. Limit alcohol, and don't smoke. Read more

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

Veterans' Painkiller Abuse Can Raise Odds for Heroin Use

Posted 23 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 – Veterans who misuse narcotic painkillers may be at high risk for heroin use, a new study cautions. The research included nearly 3,400 U.S. veterans who had never misused painkillers or used heroin. Their health was followed for 10 years. During that time, 500 of them began using heroin. Of those, 77 percent misused opioid painkillers before they started using heroin. Other risk factors for heroin use included being male, being black and abusing stimulant drugs, the study found. The findings highlight the need for health care providers who treat veterans to watch closely for signs of opioid painkiller misuse, the researchers said. "This study quantifies the issue of starting painkiller misuse and heroin use in a specific, high-risk population – veterans around the U.S.," said corresponding author Brandon Marshall, an assistant professor in the School of Public ... Read more

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

U.S. DEA Denies Request to Ease Federal Pot Rules

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has refused the request of two former state governors to ease marijuana's restrictive classification under current drug laws. The DEA said it based its decision largely on information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA previously concluded that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," according to National Public Radio (NPR). "This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it's not," DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said in the NPR report. The request – initially proposed in 2011 – sought to have marijuana reclassified from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug. Schedule I drugs are considered drugs "with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Methamphetamine, Endocet, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Roxicet, Desoxyn, M O S, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone

Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills

Posted 9 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 – Patients who are first-time users of pain-killing opioids should be prescribed a small dose without refills to reduce the risk of long-term use and possible addiction, a new study suggests. A surge in prescriptions for opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin over the past two decades dovetails with a steep rise in addiction and overdoses in the United States. The trend has prompted calls for more careful use of the narcotic painkillers. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 537,000 patients in Oregon who were prescribed opioids for the first time. The investigators found that 5 percent of those who received six or more refills within a year became long-term users. This trend was higher among rural patients (6 percent) than among urban patients (4 percent), the findings showed. And the risk of long-term use increased with age, according to the study published ... Read more

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

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

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

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 positive for gabapentin (Neurontin), but didn't have a prescription for the drug. Of the patients taking gabapentin illicitly, 56 percent were taking it with an opioid, 27 percent with an opioid and muscle relaxant or anxiety medication, and the rest were taking it with other substances. The study was presented Wednesday at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's (AACC) annual meeting in Philadelphia. "The high rate of misuse of this medication is surprising and it is also a wakeup call ... Read more

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

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. "Many oncologists and primary care physicians are not trained to recognize or treat long-term pain associated with cancer," guideline panel co-chair Judith Paice said in an ASCO news release. "This guideline will help clinicians identify pain early and develop comprehensive treatment plans, using a broad range of approaches," she said. Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to a record ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Cancer, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Chronic Pain, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex

Pain Raises Risk of Opioid Addiction

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The more pain they have, the more likely people are to become addicted to powerful prescription opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. "In light of the national opioid abuse epidemic, these new results underscore the importance of developing effective ... approaches to managing common painful medical conditions," said senior author Dr. Mark Olfson. He is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. The study included results from a survey on alcohol and drug use. More than 34,000 Americans completed the survey. The researchers found that people with moderate to severe pain had a 41 percent higher risk of opioid addiction than those with no pain. That increased risk was independent of other factors such as age, gender, anxiety and mood disorders, and family history of drug, alcohol, and behavioral problems, the study ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Chronic Pain, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Tylenol, Opana

Newly Released Inmates Account for 1 in 10 Fatal ODs

Posted 14 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Almost 10 percent of fatal adult drug overdoses may involve recently released prison inmates, a new Canadian study suggests. "This is the first Canadian study to examine overdose mortality rates by matching incarceration records with coroner reports after release," said study author Dr. Nav Persaud. He is a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "We were surprised at how high the fatal overdose rate was among those who were recently released from provincial custody – almost 12 times higher than the general population," Persaud added. Not only did one in 10 overdose deaths involve a recently released inmate, but the risk for a fatal overdose among inmates was found to be highest immediately following release, the study found. "Previous research has speculated that the higher risk for overdose immediately ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Butrans, Opana ER, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Ultram, Hydromorphone

Common Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: Study

Posted 12 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 11, 2016 – After knee surgery and other common operations, patients have an elevated risk of growing dependent on opioid painkillers, a new study finds. These prescription painkillers include hydrocodone (Vycodin, Lortab), oxycodone (OxyContin) and fentanyl, the narcotic implicated in the April 21 death of rock legend Prince. "For a lot of surgeries there is a higher chance of getting hooked on painkillers," said study author Dr. Eric Sun, an instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif. But Sun cautioned that the finding isn't a reason to avoid surgery. "The message isn't that you shouldn't have surgery," said Sun. "Rather, there are things that anesthesiologists can do to reduce the risk by finding other ways of controlling the pain and using replacements for opioids when possible." For the study, the researchers examined medical claims of ... Read more

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

Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are Underused

Posted 28 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 28, 2016 – Programs to reduce prescription painkiller abuse are effective but underused, a new study suggests. Misuse of prescription pain medicines such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), codeine and morphine is a major public health problem in the United States. An estimated 52 million Americans have abused a prescription drug at some point in their life, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. "We have resources to help tackle the opioid epidemic, but we're underusing them," said researcher Stephanie Nichols, who's with the Husson University School of Pharmacy, in Bangor, Maine. For instance, many states have created prescription drug monitoring programs, which help identify possible cases of prescription drug misuse and help patients get addiction treatment if needed. But one study found that even though Maine has had a ... Read more

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

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