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Some Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Dose and Still Get Relief

Posted 1 day 13 hours ago by Drugs.com

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 1 day 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

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 2 days 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

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 10 days ago by Drugs.com

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 15 days ago by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 ...

FDA Bans Use of Opioid-Containing Cough Meds by Kids

Posted 11 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 – Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids. These prescription medicines involve any that include codeine or oxycodone, the FDA said. "After safety labeling changes are made, these products will no longer be ...

Tamper-Resistant Opioids May Not Ease Addiction Crisis: Study

Posted 11 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 11, 2018 – Tamper-resistant opioid pills – one attempt to curb prescription painkiller abuse – aren't stopping overuse and overdosing, at least in Australia, new research shows. "This formulation was developed with the specific aim of reducing tampering, targeting behaviors such as injection or snorting," said the study's lead author, Briony Larance. But there was also the hope ...

The Opioid Crisis' Hidden Victims: Children in Foster Care

Posted 9 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 – As the opioid epidemic continues to grip the United States, the toll on the littlest victims – the children of addicts – is mounting, new research shows. "There are many negative aspects to the opioid crisis, but its effect on children is arguably one of the worst," said study author Troy Quast, an associate professor at the University of South Florida's College of ...

Epidemic of Opioid Abuse Is Top Health Story of 2017

Posted 29 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2017 – The millions of Americans caught in the grip of an addiction to opioids – prescription painkillers or heroin – remained the leading health news story of the past year. The scourge is now so widespread that, just last week, research suggested that deaths from opioid overdoses may be the biggest factor driving a decline in overall U.S. life expectancy. If the trend ...

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops as Opioid Deaths Surge

Posted 21 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 21, 2017 – The opioid epidemic continues to chip away at the average American life span, federal health officials reported Thursday. Life expectancy declined in the United States for the second year in a row in 2016, driven downward by fatal drug overdoses in young and middle-aged adults, according to a new report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). If the ...

Gabapentin May Help Surgical Patients Stop Opioids Sooner

Posted 13 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 13, 2017 – Opioid painkillers after surgery can be the first step toward addiction for some patients. But a common drug might cut the amount of narcotics that patients need, a new study finds. When patients received a non-opioid medication called gabapentin before and after surgery, the need for continued opioid painkillers was reduced by 24 percent, said researchers at Stanford ...

Patients OK With Fewer Opioids After Gallbladder Surgery

Posted 6 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 – Far fewer opioid painkillers are needed than thought for people who have their gallbladder removed, a new study suggests. Not only was pain still controlled in these patients following surgery, but the conservative prescribing strategy could help combat the opioid crisis in the United States, the researchers noted. Prescription opioid painkillers include drugs such as ...

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