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Drug May Help Surgical Patients Stop Opioids Sooner

Posted 2 days 6 hours ago 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 University School of Medicine. The finding comes amid an opioid epidemic in the United States. Since 1999, overdose deaths have quadrupled, in large part due to abuse of prescription painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone) or heroin. "Our country is facing an opioid crisis, and a lot of people are exposed to opioids after surgery," said researcher Dr. Sean Mackey, chief of the division of pain medicine. More than 51 million Americans undergo surgery each year, according to background notes in ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, Gabapentin, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Neurontin, Heroin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Roxicet, Gralise, Percocet 5/325, Percocet 7.5/325, OxyIR, Percodan, Xtampza ER

Patients OK With Fewer Opioids After Gallbladder Surgery

Posted 9 days ago 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 OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. "For a long time, there has been no rhyme or reason to surgical opioid prescribing, compared with all the other efforts that have been made to improve surgical care," said study first author Dr. Ryan Howard. He's a resident in the University of Michigan's department of surgery. "We've been overprescribing because no one had ever really asked what's the right amount. We knew we could do better," Howard said in a university news release. In the study, Howard's team ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, Roxicodone, Paracetamol, Motrin, Fioricet, Excedrin, Endocet, Tylenol PM, Darvocet-N 100, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone

Steep Rise in Deaths for People Hospitalized After Opioid OD

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – The death rate has quadrupled among people whose opioid use lands them in a hospital, a new U.S. study finds. More opioid users are being sent to the hospital due to a life-threatening overdose than for treatment of drug addiction, the researchers noted. About 2 percent of people hospitalized for opioid use died in 2014, compared with 0.4 percent prior to 2000, the new analysis of federal hospital data revealed. The same analysis showed that hospitalizations due to opioid or heroin poisoning have increased in recent years, even as the rate of people seeking treatment of opioid addiction at a hospital has gone down, said senior researcher Dr. Zirui Song. He is an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. Before the turn of the century, most opioid-related hospitalizations were for treatment of opioid dependence and abuse. The more dire ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Heroin, MS Contin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Substance Abuse

Another Opioid Scourge: Dangerous Infections

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 – The epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States has put hospital ERs on the front line, with staffers increasingly battling infections tied to the problem. ERs are seeing an increasing number of patients seeking care for severe infections resulting from injected use of heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone and the like, new research shows. ER radiologists are often the first to diagnose such complications, using X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds to spot infections that typically result from the use of non-sterile needles, the researchers said. Insights into how the opioid epidemic is playing out in the ER stem from a 12-year analysis that focused on more than 1,000 substance abuse patients who sought care for related complications between 2005 and 2016. The findings reflect the fact that "the opioid epidemic is a national emergency," said study author Dr. Efren ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Bacterial Infection, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic

'Pill Mill' Docs Only Partly to Blame for Opioid Epidemic

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 30, 2017 – All prescribers of opioid pain medications – not just high-volume prescribers – play a role in the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses, a new study says. Deaths from drug overdoses in the United States rose from about 52,000 in 2015 to more than 64,000 in 2016. Most of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription pain medications such as fentanyl and oxycodone (Oxycontin) as well as the illegal drug heroin, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. For the study, the researchers analyzed more than 24 million opioid prescriptions given in 2015 to more than 4 million people in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Washington state. The investigators found that opioids were often prescribed to high-risk patients by health care providers who typically do not prescribe large volumes of opioids, ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vicodin ES

Chronic Pain Common Among Those Who OD on Opioids

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 28, 2017 – More than 60 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve people who suffer from chronic pain, a new analysis reveals. Many of them also struggled with depression or anxiety, the investigators found. The findings stem from a study that examined the medical backgrounds of more than 13,000 men and women who died from an opioid overdose between 2001 and 2007. "The frequent occurrence of treated chronic pain and mental health conditions among overdose decedents underscores the importance of offering substance use treatment services in clinics that treat patients with chronic pain and mental health problems," said lead investigator Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "Such a strategy," he said in a center news release, "might increase early clinical intervention in patients who are at high risk for fatal opioid overdose." ... Read more

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

Medicaid Tied to Better Addiction Treatment in Pregnancy

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – Pregnancy and opioid addiction are an all-too-common problem in the United States. And where you live may affect your treatment. Addicted moms-to-be are more likely to receive recommended therapy if they live in states where anti-addiction medications are covered by Medicaid, a new study says. Medication-assisted treatment – usually with the drug methadone or sometimes buprenorphine – is considered the most effective therapy for opioid dependency in pregnancy, the researchers said in background notes. Their study appears in the December issue of the journal Medical Care. "Our findings suggest that Medicaid coverage of methadone maintenance should be considered a key policy strategy to support pregnant women, their families, and enable their providers to deliver effective care," lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber said in a journal news release. He's with ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vicodin ES

Opioid Crisis Hitting Boomers, Millennials Hardest

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 21, 2017 – The U.S. opioid epidemic seems to be taking its biggest toll on the baby boomer and millennial generations, a new study suggests. Researchers found that since 2010, boomers – born between 1946 and 1964 – have had heightened rates of death from prescription opioids and heroin. Meanwhile, millennials – people in their 20s and 30s – also have been hard hit by heroin overdoses. "The opioid epidemic has affected everyone," said senior researcher Dr. Guohua Li. "But what we're seeing is that these two generations are at highest risk," said Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. Li said he could only speculate on the reasons. But the findings on boomers were not surprising, he noted. That generation is known to have a relatively high rate of drug abuse, versus other generations. Plus, Li said, they were middle-aged when prescriptions for opioids ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, MS Contin, Roxicodone

Teens' Painkiller Misuse Linked to Dating Violence

Posted 20 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 20, 2017 – Teens who abuse prescription drugs, like opioid painkillers, are prone to initiating or being victims of dating violence, a new study finds. In a nationwide survey of more than 10,000 teenagers who had dated in the past year, the researchers found that non-medical use of prescription drugs by boys was associated with sexual dating violence. And non-medical use of prescription drugs by girls was linked more often with physical dating violence, according to the study's lead researcher, Heather Clayton. She is a health scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings showed that nearly 10 percent of high school students surveyed said they had experienced physical dating violence, and slightly more than 10 percent said they were victims of sexual dating violence. "According to the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 17 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Substance Abuse, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vicodin ES

Is Low-Dose Aspirin Right for You After Surgery?

Posted 14 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 – Each year, millions of American heart patients go "under the knife" for various kinds of surgery. Often they're told to take a low-dose aspirin, to help lower their odds for a post-op blood clot. But does that practice reduce the risk of additional heart problems? A new study says yes. Giving low-dose aspirin after surgeries unrelated to heart problems – things like knee replacements, cancer surgeries or a myriad of other operations – reduces the risk of heart attack and death in people who've previously had artery-opening angioplasty. The new study was led by Dr. P.J. Devereaux, of McMaster University in London, Ontario, Canada. The team pointed out that the safety of post-op aspirin was cast into doubt following the results of an earlier clinical trial of more than 10,000 people who received low-dose aspirin after a non-cardiac surgery. That trial found ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Excedrin, Myocardial Infarction, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ecotrin, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte

Doctors Prescribing Too Many Opioids After Nose Jobs

Posted 9 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 9, 2017 – Could some patients recovering from a nose job get a problem they didn't bargain for? After these operations, patients are often sent home with more opioid pain pills than they need, increasing the risk for misuse, researchers say. About 218,000 cosmetic nose surgeries were performed in the United States in 2015. In fact, "rhinoplasty" is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the United States, which is experiencing an opioid epidemic. The new study included 62 patients at two private practices and an academic health center who underwent rhinoplasty. The patients were prescribed the opioid painkiller Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) for pain relief after surgery. On average, patients used nine of the 20 to 30 tablets they were prescribed. Seventy-four percent used 15 or fewer tablets, and only three patients needed refills. The number of ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, MS Contin, Roxicodone

Opioids Not the Only Answer for Pain Relief in the ER

Posted 7 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 – As the opioid epidemic continues to sweep across the United States, a new study suggests that a combination of Motrin and Tylenol may work as well as narcotic painkillers for ER patients who suffer sprains or fractures. "Although this study focused on treatment while in the emergency department, if we can successfully treat acute extremity pain with a non-opioid combination painkiller in there, then we might be able to send these patients home without an opioid prescription," said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Chang. He is a professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center, in Albany, N.Y. "We know that some patients who are given an opioid prescription will become addicted, so if we can decrease the number of people being sent home with an opioid prescription, then we can prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place," Chang suggested. Ibuprofen ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid

People Tend to Overestimate Pain From Surgery

Posted 4 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 3, 2017 – Many patients overestimate the amount of pain they'll experience after surgery, resulting in needless anxiety, a new study reports. "We believe providers need to do a better job of counseling patients on realistic pain expectations," said study co-author Dr. Jaime Baratta, director of regional anesthesia at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The research included 223 patients. Their average age was 61. All had orthopedic, neurological or general surgery. Of these, 96 received some form of regional anesthesia (spinal, epidural or peripheral nerve block). The remaining 127 patients received only general anesthesia. Before their surgery, the patients estimated what level of postoperative pain they expected on a 0-10 scale (10 being the most painful). After surgery, they were asked about their level of pain in the post-anesthesia care unit one hour ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Surgery, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER, MS Contin, Roxicodone

'Drug Courts,' Treatment Focus of New White House Opioid Strategy

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1, 2017 – Steering opioid addicts toward treatment programs instead of prisons, while tightening federal policies on opioid prescribing, could curb the opioid epidemic, President Donald Trump's opioid crisis commission said Wednesday. To that aim, the commission's final report recommends that federal drug courts be established in all 93 federal judicial districts, with people who violate their probation diverted into a drug court rather than sent to jail. Drug courts are problem-solving courts that work with the mental health, social service and treatment communities to help addicted offenders into long-term recovery programs. Drug courts "are a proven avenue to treatment for individuals who commit non-violent crimes," the commission report states, but 44 percent of U.S. counties do not have drug courts for adults. "It's an ambitious recommendation, but one that we ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Opiate Withdrawal, Lortab, Heroin, MS Contin, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Kadian, Percocet 10/325, M O S, Substance Abuse

Taking Four or More Prescription Meds? Consider Scaling Back

Posted 1 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – More than half of Americans regularly take about four prescription medications, increasing the likelihood that mistakes could occur, according to Consumer Reports. People taking multiple prescription medications should visit their doctor for a "medication checkup." By showing their doctor or pharmacist a comprehensive list of every drug they are taking, including vitamins and other dietary supplements, patients can be warned about potentially harmful interactions. They can also find out if any of these medications are no longer necessary, which would save them money. Consumer Reports encourages patients to have this type of medication review at least once a year. "Much medication use is lifesaving, without a doubt. But some drugs can potentially do more harm than good," said Lisa Gill, deputy editor of Consumer Reports. "Our concern is that inappropriate ... Read more

Related support groups: Suboxone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Lisinopril, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Ibuprofen, Opana, Naproxen, Subutex, Losartan, Dilaudid

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