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Teach Prescribers About Dangers of Long-Acting Pain Meds: FDA

Posted 9 Jul 2012 by

MONDAY, July 9 – As part of its efforts to curb the abuse of narcotic painkillers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring drug makers to educate doctors about the risks of long-acting and extended-release forms of the drugs. "Prescription-drug abuse is our nation's fastest-growing drug problem," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said during a Monday afternoon press conference. ...

Tylenol Overdose Can Be Deadly for a Child

Posted 10 Jun 2012 by

FRIDAY, June 8 – Overdoses of the pain and fever drug acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) are a leading cause of acute liver failure in children, and more public education is needed to warn parents and others of this danger, experts say. Acetaminophen is a widely available over-the-counter medication, but repeated doses above the recommended level, or overdoses due to errors or intentional ...

Many Americans Taking Too Much Acetaminophen

Posted 2 Jun 2012 by

FRIDAY, June 1 – Many U.S. adults are at risk for overdosing on over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen, according to a new study. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most commonly used over-the-counter pain medication in the United States, and acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure, according to researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.. ...

Patients May Receive Too Much Acetaminophen in Hospital

Posted 23 May 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, May 23 – Roughly 2.5 percent of admitted hospital patients may receive more than the safe daily cumulative dose of the pain-reliever acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, on at least one day, according to a new U.S. study. Patients on more than one drug containing acetaminophen often consume more than the recommended 4 grams per day of the drug, the researchers from Thomas Jefferson ...

Kids Most Likely to Start Abusing Painkillers at 16: Study

Posted 7 May 2012 by

MONDAY, May 7 – Among U.S. adolescents, misuse of prescription painkillers peaks at age 16, earlier than thought, a new large survey analysis reveals. "What our findings suggest is that if we wait until the last year of high school or college to take some kind of action that could prevent the misuse of opioid painkillers, it'll be a case of too little, too late," cautioned study co-author James ...

U.S. Sees Tripling of Babies Born Addicted to Painkillers

Posted 30 Apr 2012 by

MONDAY, April 30 – About one baby an hour is born addicted to powerful painkillers called opiates in the United States, a new study shows. The number of infants born with a drug withdrawal syndrome called neonatal abstinence syndrome tripled between 2000 and 2009, jumping to more than 13,000, according to a study published online April 30 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. At ...

Another Drug 'Take-Back Day' Scheduled for Saturday

Posted 26 Apr 2012 by

THURSDAY, April 26 – The fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. The event gives Americans an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. At the third Take-Back Day last October, participants turned in more than 377,000 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired ...

Seniors' Long-Term Use of Strong Painkillers a Concern

Posted 12 Mar 2012 by

MONDAY, March 12 – Older patients prescribed narcotic painkiller drugs, such as codeine or oxycodone, soon after short-stay surgery are at increased risk of becoming long-term users, a new study finds. Canadian researchers looked at data from almost 400,000 patients aged 66 and older who had short-stay surgery for cataracts, gallbladder removal, prostate tissue removal or varicose vein ...

Narcotic Painkillers Another Threat to Traumatized War Vets: Study

Posted 7 Mar 2012 by

TUESDAY, March 6 – Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have psychiatric disorders, especially post-traumatic stress disorder, are more likely than mentally healthy vets to use prescription narcotic painkillers, a new study finds. Use of these opioid pain medications, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, can become addictive and cause more serious problems, researchers say. "Veterans using ...

Drug-Free Housing Helps Heroin, Oxycontin Addicts Recover

Posted 28 Feb 2012 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 – Drug-free recovery housing and day treatment programs greatly improve the chances that those addicted to opioids who have gone through detoxification will be able to kick the habit, a new study shows. Opioid abuse includes both the use of illegal drugs such as heroin and the nonmedical use of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. Opioid addicts ...

Hard Drug Use in Middle Age Could Prove Fatal, Study Finds

Posted 3 Feb 2012 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 – People who start using hard drugs – such as cocaine, opiates and amphetamines – as young adults and continue to use them into their 50s have a fivefold increased risk of early death, researchers report. The finding is from an analysis of hard drug use among 4,300 U.S. adults who took part in a long-term study of cardiovascular disease and risk factors. The participants, ...

FDA Warns of Painkiller Mix-Up at Nebraska Plant

Posted 9 Jan 2012 by

MONDAY, Jan. 9 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on Monday that some narcotic prescription painkillers made at a Nebraska plant may have been mixed up with some over-the-counter medicines packaged at the same facility. "We issued a public health advisory to health care professionals and patients about a potential problem with opioid products manufactured and packaged for ...

Too Much Acetaminophen Over Time May Damage Liver

Posted 22 Nov 2011 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 – Taking slightly too much of the pain reliever acetaminophen (best known by the brand name Tylenol) over time can lead to an overdose that can cause liver failure and death, according to a new study. These "staggered overdoses" can occur when people have ongoing pain and repeatedly take a little more acetaminophen than they should, explained Dr. Kenneth Simpson, author of the ...

Older ER Patients Less Likely to Get Pain Meds, Data Shows

Posted 16 Nov 2011 by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 – Elderly patients are less likely than middle-aged patients to receive pain medications in U.S. hospital emergency departments, even when they have severe pain. That's the finding of researchers who analyzed data collected from U.S. emergency departments between 2003 and 2009. Among patients with a primary complaint of pain, an analgesic (such as morphine, oxycodone or ...

Experts Debate Tylenol's Safety for Asthmatic Kids

Posted 7 Nov 2011 by

MONDAY, Nov. 7 – Taken in the proper dose, acetaminophen has long been considered one of the safest over-the-counter medications. It's approved for use in children, and many obstetricians are even OK with its use during pregnancy. But an Ohio pediatrician thinks it's time to rein in use of acetaminophen – more popularly known as Tylenol – particularly in people with asthma. "The fundamental ...

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