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Number of Americans With Epilepsy at Record Level

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – More Americans than ever are living with epilepsy, federal health officials reported Thursday. According to the new report, 1.2 percent of the population – about 3 million adults and 470,000 children – were being treated for epilepsy or had experienced recent seizures in 2015, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The number of adults with active epilepsy rose from 2.3 million in 2010. Epilepsy among children rose by 20,000 between 2007 and 2015, according to the report's coauthor, Rosemarie Kobau, the head of the CDC's epilepsy program. "The increase is probably because of population growth," Kobau said. "We don't know if other factors are involved." The report, published Aug. 11 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, offers epilepsy estimates for every state for the first time, which shows the condition ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Gabapentin, Seizures, Clonazepam, Ativan, Lyrica, Valium, Topamax, Lorazepam, Neurontin, Epilepsy, Diazepam, Topiramate, Dilantin, Pregabalin, Seizure Prevention, Zonisamide, Diamox, Phenytoin, Zonegran

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, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Ativan, Morphine, Lyrica, Valium, Chronic Pain

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, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Klonopin, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Clonazepam, Opiate Dependence, Ativan, Morphine, Valium, Opiate Withdrawal, Codeine

What Drugs Work Best for Diabetic Nerve Pain?

Posted 25 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 – Nerve pain and numbness, also known as neuropathy, is a debilitating but common symptom of diabetes. Now, new research suggests certain drugs may outperform others in treating diabetic neuropathy. The new review of the data on the subject was led by Julie Waldfogel of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Her team noted that about half of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage caused by high levels of blood sugar. However, not all of them will have symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling in the legs and feet. In the new study, the Hopkins group reviewed 106 studies on pain relief for diabetic neuropathy. The researchers found "moderate" evidence that the antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) reduce diabetic nerve pain. However, they only found "weak" evidence that botulinum toxin (Botox), the anti-seizure drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Effexor, Peripheral Neuropathy, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR, Neurontin, Diabetes, Type 1, Diabetic Neuropathy, Duloxetine, Diabetic Nerve Damage, Gralise, Capsaicin, Valproic Acid, Diabetes Mellitus, Depakene, Capzasin, Pain Doctor, Terocin

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, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Neurontin, Subutex, Dilaudid

Opioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: Study

Posted 14 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 – While the dangers of overdose among patients prescribed powerful opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and fentanyl are well known, a new study found unexpected heart risks with the medications. Patients who had just been prescribed an opioid painkiller had a 64 percent higher risk of early death when compared to patients who were given an alternative pain medication. But much of that increased risk was related to the onset of breathing difficulties during sleep, followed by heart rhythm irregularities and other cardiovascular complications. "We were not surprised by the increased risk for overdose deaths, which is well known," noted study author Wayne Ray, from the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. "However, the large increase in cardiovascular death risk is a novel finding," Ray said. "[And] it suggests ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Percocet, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Lyrica, Chronic Pain, Neurontin, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Sciatica, Tegretol, Roxicodone, Pregabalin, Carbamazepine, Endocet, Duragesic, Scoliosis

Acupuncture Best for Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

Posted 25 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – Needles beat pills for treating hot flashes in breast cancer survivors, according to a new trial that compared acupuncture, "sham" acupuncture, the medication gabapentin and a placebo pill. Interestingly, sham acupuncture came in second place for effectiveness, the researchers said. Furthermore, the effects of acupuncture were "significant and enduring for hot flashes while gabapentin's effect only happened when a patient was taking the medication," said study first author Dr. Jun Mao, an associate professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The study was published Aug. 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Mao and his colleagues tested the treatments in 120 women who were breast cancer survivors. The women were enduring hot flashes at least twice a day. Thirty women each received real acupuncture that ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Hot Flashes, Neurontin, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Gralise, Gabarone, Fanatrex

Drugs May Help Relieve Restless Legs Syndrome

Posted 4 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 4 – People suffering from restless legs syndrome may find some relief by taking one of several drugs approved to treat the condition, a new review confirms. The medications, which include Requip (ropinirole), levodopa, Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin), appear to reduce symptoms of the syndrome in more than 60 percent of patients, researchers report. The first two drugs raise dopamine levels in the body, and the last two drugs reduce the amount of calcium reaching brain cells and trigger the production of other chemicals that help reduce pain. Dopamine is a brain chemical that regulates movement and mood. "Physicians and patients now have better information on the effectiveness and harms of two types of drug treatments for patients with at least moderately severe restless legs symptoms in which to guide treatment choices," said review author Dr. Timothy Wilt, ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lyrica, Restless Legs Syndrome, Neurontin, Pregabalin, Requip, Ropinirole, Levodopa, Gralise, Horizant, Requip XL, Requip Starter Kit, Gabarone, Repreve, Dopar, ReQuip Starter Pack, Larodopa, Fanatrex, ReQuip Follow on Pack

Chronic Cough Responds to Epilepsy Drug, Study Finds

Posted 28 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 – A drug commonly used to control epileptic seizures and pain, gabapentin, also appears to ease hard-to-treat chronic coughs, a new study says. Chronic cough affects 11 percent to 16 percent of the population, the researchers report. The exact cause is unknown, but it might relate to a malfunction in a part of the brain that causes coughing. Gabapentin works by suppressing that "cough center," they said. "It is effective and well-tolerated, and may provide significant relief and respite from such a physically and psychologically disabling condition," said lead researcher Nicole Ryan, a clinical research scientist at the University of Newcastle in Australia. "Gabapentin is a real treatment option for people with refractory chronic cough, especially for those with features of central sensitization." People with this kind of cough feel the need to cough when there is no ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Cough, Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant, Gabarone, Fanatrex

Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds

Posted 2 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 2 – Medications taken by millions of Americans for mood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions can have an unhealthy side effect: weight gain. While other choices exist for some types of drugs, adjusting medications is not simply a matter of switching, said Ryan Roux, chief pharmacy officer with the Harris County Hospital District, in Houston. In the late 1990s, Dr. Lawrence Cheskin conducted early research on prescription medicines and obesity. "Some medicines make an early, noticeable difference, causing patients to become ravenously hungry, while changes are subtle for others. A few months taking them and you've gained 10 pounds," said Cheskin, now director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, in Baltimore. To help increase awareness, Roux and his pharmacist group have compiled a list of "weight-promoting" and "weight-neutral or ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Bipolar Disorder, High Blood Pressure, Zoloft, Diabetes, Type 2, Wellbutrin, Gabapentin, Prozac, Prednisone, Depo-Provera, Mirena, Nexplanon, NuvaRing, Metformin, Seroquel, Provera, Sprintec, Implanon, Hypertension, Paxil

New Guidelines Issued for Common Tremor Disorder

Posted 19 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 – An antiseizure drug called primidone (Mysoline) and a high blood pressure drug called propranolol (Inderal) are the most effective medicines to treat shaking in people with essential tremor, according to an updated treatment guideline from the American Academy of Neurology. Essential tremor, which affects about 10 million people in the United States, is the most common type of tremor disorder and is often mistaken with other movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. The condition usually starts after age 40 and affects the hands, head and voice. It can cause difficulties with daily activities such as eating, writing, shaving and sewing. Along with primidone and propranolol, other helpful medicines include the antiseizure drugs gabapentin (Fanatrex, Neurontin) and topiramate (Topamax), the high blood pressure drugs atenolol (Tenormin) and sotalol (Betapace, ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Gabapentin, Topamax, Neurontin, Alprazolam, Atenolol, Propranolol, Topiramate, Xanax XR, Sotalol, Inderal, Benign Essential Tremor, Primidone, Gralise, Tenormin, Horizant, Inderal LA, Mysoline, Alprazolam Intensol, Niravam

Hormonal Treatment of Hot Flashes Still OK for Some: Experts

Posted 18 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 – Women do have options when it comes to treating hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, and these still include the short-term use of hormone replacement therapy using estrogen alone, experts conclude in a new consensus report. "Hormone replacement therapy should be considered a very reasonable option for recently menopausal women who have moderate-to-severe hot flashes or night sweats," said Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the current president of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was widely used up until 2002. That year, however, the estrogen-plus-progestin arm of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial was stopped early after women who took the formulation were found to have an increased risk for heart disease, strokes, breast cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Lexapro, Zoloft, Gabapentin, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Hot Flashes, Fluoxetine, Neurontin, Escitalopram, Paroxetine, Luvox, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Fluvoxamine, Paxil CR, Gralise, Horizant, Sarafem

Newer Epilepsy Meds Less Likely to Cause Birth Defects: Study

Posted 17 May 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 17 – Newer epilepsy medications don't increase the risk of major birth defects in women taking these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to new research. But because the drugs are relatively new, further studies are needed to get a clearer picture of their safety profile, experts said. In a large study of children born in Denmark, including those exposed to newer anti-epileptic drugs, researchers found the rate of major birth defects was 3.2 percent for babies born to women taking the epilepsy medications and 2.4 percent for women not taking these drugs. "In a nationwide Danish study of more than 800,000 births, we found no support for an increased risk of birth defects following use of newer generation anti-epileptics in early pregnancy," said the study's lead author, Ditte Molgaard-Nielsen, an epidemiologist at Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen. ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lamictal, Topamax, Neurontin, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, Trileptal, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Gralise, Lamictal XR, Horizant, Keppra XR, Lamictal Blue, Topamax Sprinkle, Gabarone, Lamictal ODT, Lamictal CD, Lamictal Orange

Epilepsy Drugs May Raise Fracture Risk in Older Adults

Posted 11 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 – Epilepsy drugs increase older adults' risk for bone fractures, a new study shows. Canadian researchers analyzed the medical records of 15,792 people 50 and older who'd had non-traumatic fractures between April 1996 and March 2004. Each person was matched with up to three people who'd never had a fracture, for a total of 47,289 people to serve as controls. The researchers also looked at the participants' use of epilepsy drugs, including carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol), clonazepam (Klonopin), ethosuximide (Zarontin), gabapentin (Gabarone, Neurontin), phenobarbital (Luminal), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote). All but one of the drugs was associated with an increased risk for fractures. The greatest risk was among people taking phenytoin and carbamazepine. Valproic acid was the only drug not linked with an increased chance ... Read more

Related support groups: Klonopin, Gabapentin, Clonazepam, Neurontin, Tegretol, Dilantin, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin, Tegretol XR, Valproic Acid, Carbatrol, Klonopin Wafer, Epitol, Depakene, Zarontin, Equetro, Phenytoin Sodium, Di-Phen, Stavzor

Epilepsy Drugs Don't Raise Suicide Risk, Study Shows

Posted 5 Aug 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 – In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required epilepsy medications to bear a warning label about an increased risk of suicidal behaviors. The move came after an agency review of 199 studies that found patients taking the drugs showed about twice the risk of suicidal behavior. But now a study of more than 5 million patients contradicts the FDA's findings. It suggests that the increased risk of suicide has more to do with the conditions for which these drugs are prescribed than the medications themselves. For the study, researchers in Spain and the United States evaluated the health records of primary care patients in England. They found that people with epilepsy who currently use an antiepileptic drug are at no greater risk of suicide-related events than those who aren't taking the medications. "In our opinion, in the long term, it is not the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Gabapentin, Lyrica, Lamictal, Topamax, Neurontin, Depakote, Keppra, Lamotrigine, Topiramate, Tegretol, Pregabalin, Trileptal, Carbamazepine, Depakote ER, Levetiracetam, Oxcarbazepine, Zonisamide, Divalproex Sodium, Tegretol XR, Zonegran

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