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FDA Medwatch Alert: Codeine and Tramadol Medicines: Drug Safety Communication - Restricting Use in Children, Recommending Against Use in Breastfeeding Women

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is restricting the use of codeine and tramadol medicines in children. These medicines carry serious risks, including slowed or difficult breathing and death, which appear to be a greater risk in children younger than 12 years, and should not be used in these children. These medicines should also be limited in some older children. Single-ingredient codeine and all tramadol-containing products are FDA-approved only for use in adults. FDA is also recommending against the use of codeine and tramadol medicines in breastfeeding mothers due to possible harm to their infants. As a result, FDA is requiring several changes to the labels of all prescription medicines containing these drugs. These new actions further limit the use of these medicines beyond the 2013 FDA restriction of codeine use in children younger than 18 years to treat pain after surgery to remove the tonsils and/or ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Tramadol, Codeine, Ultram, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Dromadol SR, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Ultracet, Statuss, Codeine/Promethazine, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, Fioricet with Codeine, Ultram ER, Tramal, Ryzolt, Robitussin-AC, Zydol, Tylenol with Codeine 4

Don't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDA

Posted 20 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – Parents shouldn't give their children any medications containing the narcotics codeine or tramadol, because they can cause life-threatening breathing problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday. Warning labels on medications with codeine or tramadol will be strengthened to reflect these potential dangers, the FDA said in a statement. Nursing mothers should also avoid using these drugs, since they can pass unsafe levels of opioids to their babies through their breast milk, the agency said. Children's bodies tend to process opioids more quickly than most adults, due to their smaller size. That can cause the level of narcotics in their bloodstream to rise too high and too quickly, risking overdose, the agency explained. Tramadol is a prescription drug that is only approved for adults to treat pain, the agency noted. Codeine products are ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Surgery, Obesity, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Methadone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Ultram, Opana ER, Nucynta, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Butrans, Hydromorphone

Rehab Services Lacking in States Hit Hard by Opioids

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – Opioid treatment programs for low-income Americans are in short supply in areas where they're needed the most, a new study contends. Lack of affordable access is particularly apparent across the Southeast, researchers said. The finding follows the Trump Administration's announcement last week that it would be establishing a new commission to focus on the nation's growing opioid epidemic. Opioid medications include oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen), codeine, morphine and others. Heroin is also a potent opioid. "In the midst of an escalating opioid epidemic, treatment in opioid treatment programs are almost nonexistent for low-income Americans – (meaning) Medicaid enrollees – in a majority of the country," said study lead author Amanda Abraham. She's an assistant professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia. ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen

Drug OD Deaths Have Nearly Tripled Since 1999: CDC

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 24, 2017 – Drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled in the United States since 1999, with whites and middle-aged Americans bearing much of the brunt, a new government report shows. More than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015, compared to just over 6 in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Heroin and other opioids accounted for about half of these deaths, a reflection of the damage wrought by the prescription painkiller epidemic this decade, said Dr. Edwin Salsitz, an addiction medicine specialist. Overdose deaths are so common that they're driving down the average life expectancy for white Americans, said Salsitz, who is with Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. The CDC report, released Feb. 24, found that drug overdose deaths have risen among whites at a rate of about 7 percent each year, compared with 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Tylenol with Codeine 3, M O S, Substance Abuse, Roxicet, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone

Don't Punish Pregnant Women for Opioid Use, Docs Say

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Prevention and treatment, not legal action, should be the focus when dealing with pregnant women who use opioids, a leading pediatricians' group says. Some states prosecute and jail pregnant women for substance abuse, but the new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that punitive measures have no health benefits for mother or child and may deter women from seeking help. "Over the last two decades, use of opioids surged throughout the U.S., and as they did, we have seen an increase in opioid-related complications in nearly every population, including pregnant women and their infants," statement co-author Dr. Stephen Patrick said in an AAP news release. "Our response should be grounded in public health. We should be bolstering efforts targeted at primary prevention, like prescription drug-monitoring programs, and expanding treatment ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Delivery, Tylenol with Codeine

Kids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at Home

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – A child's risk of a potentially fatal drug overdose more than doubles if a parent brings home a prescription opioid painkiller like oxycodone, codeine or morphine, a new study reports. When their mother is prescribed an opioid for pain as opposed to a non-narcotic drug like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, young children are about two-and-a-half times more likely to accidentally overdose, the researchers found. "The opioid epidemic has not skipped children," said Dr. Yaron Finkelstein, a pediatric emergency doctor with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "They are also vulnerable to it, even as a third party or innocent bystander." Finkelstein is lead researcher on the study, published online Feb. 20 in Pediatrics. Another study in the journal helps explain the source of some of this risk. Nearly 70 percent of prescription opioids in homes with ... Read more

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

What You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid Painkiller

Posted 13 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – There are a number of questions you should ask if a doctor or other health care provider prescribes opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, codeine and morphine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. While approved to treat certain kinds of acute and chronic pain, opioids can have serious side effects, and the United States is in the mist of an opioid overuse epidemic. First, ask why you need the medication, is it right for you, and are there non-opioid options? If your health care provider thinks an opioid painkiller is the best choice, ask the doctor to prescribe the lowest dose and the smallest quantity. Find out when to call to follow-up with the health care provider on how well the opioid is working, as well as when and how to stop or taper off use of the drug, the FDA said in a news release. To reduce the risk of side effects, take the ... Read more

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

Codeine Not Safe for Kids, Pediatricians Warn

Posted 19 Sep 2016 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, Statuss, Codeine/Promethazine, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, Fioricet with Codeine, MSIR, Roxanol, Robitussin-AC

Chronic Pain May Trigger Many Cases of Painkiller Addiction: Survey

Posted 12 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – Chronic pain may be a major driver behind the recent surge in addiction to prescription painkillers, a new survey finds. Opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse in the United States are among the country's biggest public health threats, the researchers said. And, more than eight in 10 people abusing prescription drugs said they were doing so to treat pain. "While the association between chronic pain and drug addiction has been observed in prior studies, this study goes one step further to quantify how many of these patients are using these substances specifically to treat chronic pain," said study corresponding author Dr. Daniel Alford. "It also measures the prevalence of chronic pain in patients who screen positive for illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse," Alford said in a Boston University news release. He is director of the Safe and Competent ... Read more

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

Health Tip: Enjoy a Healthier Plane Ride

Posted 28 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Planning a plane trip? There are steps you can take for a better, healthier excursion. Here are suggestions from the American Academy of Family Physicians: Store medication to be taken during the trip in a carry-on bag. Pack extra meds in case of unexpected delays. Talk to your doctor about whether you'll need to adjust your meds during your trip. Keep an identification card with you at all times if you have epilepsy or diabetes. Also, bring a list of all medications and doses, and your doctor's contact information. Drink plenty of water before and during your flight to prevent dehydration. Read more

Related support groups: Benadryl, Promethazine, Diphenhydramine, Phenergan, NyQuil, Tylenol PM, Unisom, Alka-Seltzer, Motion Sickness, Advil PM, Doxylamine, Codeine/Promethazine, Benadryl Allergy, Promethazine DM, ZzzQuil, Simply Sleep, Itch Relief, Sominex, Aleve PM, Cyclizine

Can Certain Allergy Meds Worsen Restless Legs Syndrome?

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – Over-the-counter allergy medications may worsen symptoms of restless legs syndrome, a neurologist contends. People with the syndrome experience uncomfortable sensations and strong urges to move their legs, which can be painful and disrupt sleep, according to Dr. William Ondo. He is director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Houston Methodist Hospital. Nearly 12 million people in the United States have restless legs syndrome, according to the American Sleep Association. "Patients with restless legs syndrome already have difficulty sleeping as their symptoms tend to worsen at night or with rest, but sedating antihistamines ... can intensify the symptoms," Ondo said in a hospital news release. Many people take sedating antihistamines to treat sneezing, runny nose and other symptoms of seasonal allergies. "We don't yet understand why sedating antihistamines ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Claritin, Promethazine, Diphenhydramine, Loratadine, Vistaril, Allegra, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever, Phenergan, Cetirizine, Atarax, Cyproheptadine, Tylenol PM, Fexofenadine, Periactin

Painkillers Don't Ease Disability Due to Nerve Damage: Study

Posted 1 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 – Taking prescription narcotic painkillers doesn't improve movement or reduce disability in people with pain related to nerve damage, researchers have found. "Even though [narcotic] medications can be a powerful pain killer, it does not necessarily mean improved function will follow. Pain is not the only factor in determining function," study lead author and pain expert Geoff Bostick, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Alberta in Canada, said in a university news release. The research included almost 800 patients with pain due to nerve damage, from causes such as diabetes and pinched nerves. Some were prescribed narcotic painkillers – such as morphine, codeine and Tylenol 3 – while others didn't receive the drugs. At 6-month and 12-month follow-ups, those who took the painkillers didn't show greater improvements in movement and ... Read more

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

Primary Care Docs the Leading Prescribers of Narcotic Painkillers: Study

Posted 14 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 – Americans continue to be plagued by an epidemic of prescription narcotic painkiller abuse, and a new study finds primary care physicians are by far the biggest prescribers of the drugs. Researchers led by Dr. Jonathan Chen, of Stanford University, looked at data from 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage claims. They focused on prescriptions for narcotic painkillers containing hydrocodone (drugs such as Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin and Percocet), codeine and others in this class, known as opioids. In sheer number of prescriptions written, the largest prescribers were primary care physicians. For example, family practice doctors issued 15.3 million prescriptions, while internal medicine physicians (another type of primary care doctor) issued 12.8 million, the researchers found. The study also found that nurse practitioners wrote 4.1 million ... Read more

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

Who's Most Likely to Get Addicted to Their Narcotic Painkiller?

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – A new study looks at which patients prescribed a short course of narcotic painkillers may be most prone to long-term abuse. The study finds – perhaps not surprisingly – that people with prior histories of drug abuse, or current or former smokers, were much more likely to go beyond that short-term prescription. The drugs in question are "opioid" painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine and methadone, among others. The study was led by Dr. W. Michael Hooten, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 300 patients given a first-time, short-term prescription for one of this class of narcotic painkillers in 2009. The investigators found that nearly one in every four of the patients continued to take the medication for extended periods of time. Specifically, the study found that 21 ... Read more

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

FDA Medwatch Alert: Codeine Cough-and-Cold Medicines in Children: Drug Safety Communication - FDA Evaluating Potential Risk of Serious Side Effects

Posted 2 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA is investigating the safety of using codeine-containing medicines to treat coughs and colds in children under 18 years because of the potential for serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing. Children, especially those who already have breathing problems, may be more susceptible to these serious side effects. In 2013, FDA warned against using codeine in children who recently had surgery to remove their tonsils and/or adenoids. In April 2015, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that codeine must not be used to treat cough and cold in children under 12 years, and that codeine is not recommended in children and adolescents between 12 and 18 years who have breathing problems, including those with asthma and other chronic breathing problems. FDA will continue to evaluate this safety issue and will consider the EMA recommendations. Final conclusions ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Codeine, Cold Symptoms, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Statuss, Codeine/Promethazine, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, Fioricet with Codeine, Robitussin-AC, Tylenol with Codeine 4, Codeine/Guaifenesin, Phenergan with Codeine, Fiorinal with Codeine III, Iophen, Iophen-C NR, Guaiatussin AC, Codeine/Phenylephrine/Promethazine

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