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Around the World, Too Little Relief for Pain

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Tens of millions of people worldwide who die in severe physical and mental distress each year could have an easier death if low-cost pain drugs were available in their countries, a new report says. Children account for more than 2.5 million of the almost 26 million people with serious illnesses who receive no palliative care or pain relief, according to the report. The findings came from an analysis of data on the care provided in 172 countries for people with any of 20 serious conditions, including HIV, cancer, heart disease, premature birth, tuberculosis, hemorrhagic fevers, lung and liver disease, malnutrition, dementia and trauma injuries. Of the 61 million people who endure severe physical or psychological suffering and pain each year, about 83 percent live in 100 low- and middle-income countries where there's little or no access to low-cost, off-patent ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Back Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Chronic Pain, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Acetaminophen, Lortab, Tylenol, Naproxen, Opana

Medicare Could Do More to Stem Opioid Epidemic

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 10, 2017 – Medicare places few limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions, even in the face of recent U.S. government guidelines, researchers report. Yale University scientists say Medicare plans for people 65 and older are untapped resources for curbing the unnecessary use and abuse of drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin). "People are looking for any way to control the increase in opioid-use disorder. This is one strategy," said study first author Dr. Elizabeth Samuels. She's a postdoctoral fellow in Yale's National Clinical Scholars Program. A previous study involving private insurers showed that certain practices can help curb use of addictive painkillers, the researchers said. Such measures include requiring prior authorization from insurers and setting quantity limits. For this study, Samuels and her colleagues analyzed the "formulary files" ... Read more

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

Cigna Says No to OxyContin

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

Most OxyContin prescriptions will no longer be covered in Cigna group health plans starting in January, the insurance giant announced. The move is an attempt to help stem the opioid epidemic that has spread across the United States, company officials said. "Our focus is on helping customers get the most value from their medications – this means obtaining effective pain relief while also guarding against opioid misuse," Cigna Chief Pharmacy Officer Jon Maesner said in a statement. Although OxyContin won't be an option for Cigna customers unless a doctor deems it "medically necessary," the company said it has signed a contract with the maker of another opioid, known as Xtampza ER. Xtampza is "an [OxyContin] equivalent with abuse-deterrent properties," the company said. "Xtampza ER's abuse-deterrent platform allows the product to maintain its extended-release profile even when cut, ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Percocet 10/325, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Roxicet, Percocet 5/325, OxyIR, Percocet 7.5/325, Percodan, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Xtampza ER, Oxyfast, Troxyca ER, Percocet 10/650

Heroin Taking Bigger Share of U.S. Opioid ODs

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 2, 2017 – New U.S. hospital overdose data suggests that drug addicts are turning from prescription opioid painkillers to heroin as an easier way to get high, researchers report. Hospital and emergency room treatment rates for prescription opioid overdoses (such as OxyContin) decreased annually by about 5 percent between 2010 and 2014. This was about the same time tough new prescribing laws were drafted to combat the opioid epidemic, the study authors said. But ER treatment rates for heroin overdose skyrocketed at the same time. Heroin overdose rates increased at an annual rate of more than 31 percent after 2008, said senior researcher Tina Hernandez-Boussard. She's an associate professor with the Stanford University School of Medicine. These results provide "the first piece of real evidence" supporting what had been a strong suspicion that prescription painkiller addicts ... Read more

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

Post-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Amid efforts to stem the U.S. opioid crisis, a new study suggests how long patients should take prescription opioid painkillers after surgery. After general surgery, the ideal duration is four to nine days, said researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. For women's health procedures, four to 13 days is appropriate, while six to 15 days of narcotic painkillers is reasonable for musculoskeletal surgery, according to the study. "An opioid prescription after surgery should balance adequate pain treatment with minimizing the duration of treatment and potential for medication complications, including issues with dependence," wrote Dr. Louis Nguyen and colleagues. Overuse of opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) – has contributed to the opioid abuse epidemic and the skyrocketing rate of overdose deaths in the ... Read more

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

Stopping Aspirin Tied to Quick Rise in Heart Attack, Stroke Risk

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – People who stop following their doctor's advice to take a daily aspirin may see their risk of heart attack and stroke quickly rise, a new study suggests. Low-dose aspirin is a standard therapy for people at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. But many eventually stop taking it, or at least consider quitting, said Dr. Johan Sundstrom, the lead researcher on the new study. Sometimes it's because of side effects, such as upset stomach, according to Sundstrom, a professor at Uppsala University, in Sweden. Other times, he said, it's simple "forgetfulness." His team wanted to find out what happened when patients quit their low-dose aspirin. The investigators looked at medical records from more than 600,000 Swedish adults who'd been prescribed aspirin to prevent cardiovascular trouble. (In Sweden, it's given by prescription, not over-the-counter, as in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Soma Compound, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte

CDC Launches Opioid Campaign in Hard-Hit States

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign to reduce overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from prescription opioid overdoses such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone). The goal of the CDC's Rx Awareness campaign is to increase knowledge of the risks of prescription opioids and stop inappropriate use. Personal accounts from recovering opioid abusers and people who've lost loved ones will be featured. "It only takes a little to lose a lot" is the campaign tagline. It will be featured in videos, audio ads, social media ads, internet banners, web graphics, billboards and posters. Campaign ads are planned to run for the next 14 weeks in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Ohio. The campaign will expand to other states as ... Read more

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

ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter Durations

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Emergency room doctors write lower-dose, shorter-term prescriptions for opioids than other doctors do, new research shows. The study, led by scientists at the Mayo Clinic, challenges views that emergency departments are the main source of prescriptions for the powerful painkillers whose use – and misuse – has soared in recent years. The research also suggests that patients who get an opioid prescription – such as for oxycodone (OxyContin) – during an ER visit are less likely to abuse the drugs over the long term. "There are a few things that many people assume about opioids, and one is that, in the emergency department, they give them out like candy," said the study's lead author, Molly Jeffery. She is scientific director of the Mayo Clinic division of emergency medicine research, in Rochester, Minn. "This idea didn't really fit with the clinical ... Read more

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

FDA Conducts Major Global Operation to Protect Consumers From Potentially Dangerous Prescription Drugs Sold Online

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

September 25, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, recently took action against more than 500 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of prescription medicines, including opioids, antibiotics and injectable epinephrine products to American consumers. These actions were part of a major global operation that the FDA participated in to target illegal drugs being marketed online, and shipped and distributed through the postal system, directly to American consumers. Among other actions, the FDA also issued warning letters to the operators of a majority of the illegal websites that were targeted in the operation and worked with internet registrars to confiscate certain websites. Patients who buy prescription medicines from illegal online pharmacies may be putting their health ... Read more

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

Addictive Opioids Common for People on Dialysis

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Kidney dialysis patients in the United States have high rates of prescriptions for opioid painkillers and many also receive high doses of the potentially addictive drugs, a new study finds. Pain is common in dialysis patients, the study authors explained in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology. But these patients can't take certain drugs because their failing kidneys can't process them. This makes pain control difficult. For the new study, researchers reviewed Medicare data from 2006 through 2010. The investigators found that nearly two-thirds of dialysis patients received at least one opioid prescription every year. More than 20 percent received repeated prescriptions. In addition, more than 25 percent of patients given opioid prescriptions received higher-than-recommended doses. The use of opioids was associated with increased risks of ... Read more

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

Opioid ODs Have Cut Into U.S. Life Expectancy: CDC

Posted 19 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – Rising death rates from opioid abuse are chipping away at Americans' life expectancy, a U.S. government study finds. Between 2000 and 2015, researchers found, U.S. life expectancy increased overall – from nearly 77 years to 79 years. But buried within that broad pattern were some ominous trends. The death rate from drug overdoses more than doubled, while that from opioids, specifically, more than tripled, said lead researcher Dr. Deborah Dowell. She is with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's division of unintentional injury prevention. By 2015, drug-related deaths had shaved 3.5 months off of Americans' life expectancy, Dowell's team found. And whites were the hardest hit. Most of that lost life span was pinned on opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and codeine. Earlier ... Read more

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

Big Rise in Hospitalized Kids With Opioid Side Effects

Posted 18 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 – There has been a large increase in the number of young hospital patients in the United States who suffer harmful side effects from opioid painkillers, a new study says. The findings show an urgent need for safer pain medications for young patients, the researchers said. The researchers reviewed federal government data on hospital stays by children from 1 month to 17 years old. The data revealed the rate of opioid-related problems among these young hospital patients rose by more than 50 percent over nine years. The overall rate of opioid-related side effects during the study period was almost 17 per 10,000 discharges, the study found. Rates were highest among white children. That finding suggests that race may be a factor in which children are prescribed opioids to treat pain, the researchers said. Opioid-related problems included: opioid withdrawal (3 percent), ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Constipation, Lortab, Roxicodone, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Constipation - Drug Induced, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650, Vicodin ES

Surgery Can Be Trigger for Teen Opioid Abuse

Posted 15 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2017 – Teens and young adults who have surgery may be at increased risk for opioid painkiller abuse, a new study indicates. Opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) are commonly prescribed for pain after surgery. "And until recently, it was generally believed they were not addictive," said study lead author Dr. Calista Harbaugh. She's a general surgery resident at the University of Michigan Medical School. "The study is an important step toward recognizing that the [U.S.] opioid epidemic is affecting adolescents and young adults in a major way," Harbaugh said in an American Academy of Pediatrics news release. For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 90,000 privately insured U.S. patients aged 13 to 21 (average age 17) who underwent one of 13 common surgeries in this age group. The patients had no history of opioid painkiller ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

More U.S. Kids Landing in ER With Opioid Addiction

Posted 15 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 15, 2017 – A growing number of children and teens are turning up in U.S. emergency departments dependent on opioids – including prescription painkillers and heroin, a new study finds. Researchers found that in 2013, nearly 50,000 ER patients aged 21 and younger were diagnosed with opioid dependence or addiction. That was up from just over 32,200 in 2008. By that final year, roughly 135 kids were testing positive for opioid dependence each day in the nation's emergency departments, the researchers said. Child health experts said the findings offer the latest glimpse into the national opioid epidemic – and, specifically, its impact on kids. "This is not just a problem for adults," said lead researcher Dr. Veerajalandhar Allareddy, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Stead Family Children's Hospital, in Iowa City. "Kids are also at risk of opioid ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Opiate Dependence, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Roxicodone, Drug Dependence, Endocet, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Roxicet, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Lorcet 10/650

What You Can Do to Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Posted 13 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Proper disposal of prescription painkillers and use of safe alternatives to manage pain could help combat America's opioid abuse epidemic, doctors say. "Today, we are in the midst of an opioid crisis," said Dr. David Ring, chairman of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS) Committee on Patient Safety. In 2015, about 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids (such as OxyContin and Vicodin) and more than 15,000 overdose deaths were attributed to the drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Orthopaedic surgeons, along with other physicians and health care professionals, are working diligently and collectively to reduce the strength and number of opioid pills prescribed for patients, and to change the patient-doctor conversation regarding pain: how pain can be safely managed with non-opioid medications, ... Read more

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

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