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Opioids May Help Chronic Pain, But Not Much

Posted 7 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 18, 2018 – Potentially addictive opioid painkillers are often prescribed for chronic pain, but they actually work only slightly better than placebo pills, a new review shows. The analysis, of 96 clinical trials, found that on average, opioids made only a small difference for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and sciatica. And the modest pain relief sometimes ...

Health Tip: Manage Pain With Opioids

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Pain is the number one reason for why people visit the doctor, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says. Opioids are often used to treat pain, but they are highly addictive. Every day, more than 100 Americans die from an opioid overdose, the agency says. The NIH offers these suggestions: Ask your doctor about opioid alternatives to relieve your pain. Make sure your health care ...

In Massachusetts, Almost 1 in 20 Adults and Older Kids Abuse Opioids

Posted 26 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 – In another distressing snapshot of the opioid epidemic gripping America, a new study reports that nearly 5 percent of older children and adults in Massachusetts have an opioid use disorder. The study found that 4.6 percent of people over the age of 11, or more than 275,000 in the state, abuse opioids. That's nearly four times higher than previous estimates based on ...

Push-Button Pain Meds Curb Need for Opioids After C-Section: Study

Posted 15 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 – Letting women who've had a cesarean section dispense and control pain medication through a catheter reduces their use of addictive oral opioid painkillers, researchers report. Their study included 576 women who had planned C-sections. In such cases, it's common to inject a local anesthetic and a small dose of morphine into the spinal fluid. The morphine provides about 18 ...

Despite Opioid Crisis, Most Patients Want the Drugs for Post-Op Pain

Posted 15 Oct 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 15, 2018 – Despite a flood of news reports on the opioid crisis, many people still want the potentially addictive painkillers after surgery, a new survey suggests. The survey, of more than 500 patients scheduled for surgery, found that more than three-quarters expected to get opioids afterward. Most also thought opioids were the most effective treatment for post-surgery pain. But ...

Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors

Posted 19 Sep 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19, 2018 – Against the backdrop of an unrelenting opioid crisis, two new government reports warn that America's seniors are succumbing to the pitfalls of prescription painkillers. Issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the reports reveal that millions of older Americans are now filling prescriptions for many different opioid medications at the same ...

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

Posted 11 Sep 2018 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 ...

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 ...

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