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When Is an Opioid Safe to Take?

Posted 11 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so. Widespread use of opioids for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction in the United States. Forty lives are lost to prescription drug overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But an opioid painkiller, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) or hydrocodone (Vicoprofen) can sometimes be the best option for treating pain in the short term, particularly right after surgery or during a severe pain flare-up, pain experts say. In those instances, patients and doctors need to work together to make sure a patient's pain is treated while managing their risk of addiction and overdose. "You have to individualize care," said Dr. Edward Michna, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in ... Read more

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

Depressed Back Pain Patients Often Get Opioids

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds. Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said. "There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York. The analysis of nationwide data on nearly 5,400 people from 2004 to 2009 found that patients with back pain who screened positive for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid painkiller. Over a year's time, they also got more than twice the typical dose, the study found. The researchers said learning ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Back Pain, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Major Depressive Disorder, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Opana, Subutex

Acupuncture May Be Effective Painkiller in the ER

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 19, 2017 – Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative to pain medications for some emergency room patients, a new study reports. "While acupuncture is widely used by practitioners in community settings for treating pain, it is rarely used in hospital emergency departments," said study lead investigator Marc Cohen. He is a professor in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The study – billed as the world's largest randomized, controlled trial of acupuncture in the emergency department – included 528 patients. The study participants were seen at four Australian emergency departments for acute low back pain, migraines or ankle sprains. Patients who said their level of pain was at least 4 on a 10-point scale received one of three treatments: acupuncture alone; acupuncture with painkillers; or painkillers alone. One hour ... Read more

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

Medical Costs Soar for U.S. Babies Born Addicted to Opioids

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – The number of U.S. newborns hospitalized for opiate withdrawal has spiked sharply in recent years – and so has the cost of treating them, a new study shows. In fact, the national bill for caring for these fragile newborns now runs in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the study found. Researchers have known that the U.S. epidemic of painkiller abuse is extending to infants. Recent studies have charted a steep rise in so-called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the researchers said. Most often, newborns suffer the condition because their mother took opioid painkillers – such as OxyContin or Vicodin – during pregnancy. Babies are born dependent on the drugs and quickly develop withdrawal symptoms. That can mean a host of problems, from tremors and seizures, to breathing difficulty, to diarrhea and poor feeding. Last year, a federal study found that the ... Read more

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

Opioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: Studies

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Women are routinely prescribed more opioid painkillers than they need after Cesarean sections, creating a high risk for misuse, a trio of new studies suggests. C-sections are the most common inpatient surgery in the United States, with 1.4 million procedures performed a year, according to the researchers. But there is little data on how much medicine patients actually need to manage their pain. To that end, how many pills are prescribed varies from provider to provider, the researchers added. More care is needed to limit the amount of leftover drugs that could wind up in the wrong hands, the studies concluded. Most people who use opioids for nonmedical reasons get them from friends and relatives who have unused medication. And patients may not lock their leftovers away, putting young children at risk. "We are the source of these excess opioids, and we need to ... Read more

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

Heart Infections Spike as Injection-Drug Abuse Climbs: CDC

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – There's another alarming consequence to America's heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic: an increase in a serious heart infection called endocarditis, U.S. health officials report. Young, white injection drug users in rural areas are increasingly being hospitalized with both drug dependence and endocarditis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. "Endocarditis, or infection of the valves of the heart, due to needle sharing has been on the rise; and the rise has been directly associated with the increase in opioid use in the United States," said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He wasn't involved in the current research, but reviewed the study's findings. Bhusri explained that sharing unclean needles can introduce bacteria into the body. Those bacteria, he said, "have an attraction to grow on ... Read more

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

Persistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Pain that continues, day in and day out, may trigger an unexpected and unwanted side effect – a bigger risk of mental decline and dementia, a new study suggests. The findings suggest that chronic pain may be related to changes in the brain that contribute to memory problems. The findings may also point to new ways to protect age-related mental decline, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers said. However, it's important to note that the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. It can only show an association between pain and memory issues. The study included information on more than 10,000 people. All of the study participants were 60 and older. Those who had moderate or severe chronic pain in both 1998 and 2000 had more than a 9 percent faster decline on memory tests over the next 10 years than those who didn't ... Read more

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

Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression, a new study finds. More than 5,000 adults in Brazil diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder were asked about other health problems. Among those with a mood disorder, half reported chronic pain; 33 percent, respiratory diseases; 10 percent, heart disease; 9 percent, arthritis; and 7 percent, diabetes. Among those with anxiety, 45 percent reported chronic pain; 30 percent, respiratory diseases; and 11 percent each for arthritis and heart disease. Adults with two or more chronic diseases had an increased risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. High blood pressure was associated with both disorders at 23 percent, according to the Columbia University study published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Senior author Dr. Silvia Martins said ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Zoloft, Hydrocodone, Cymbalta, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, OxyContin, Effexor, Prozac, Vicodin, Norco

1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years Later

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – About 20 percent of U.S. weight-loss surgery patients are still using prescription opioid painkillers seven years later, a new study finds. The finding has importance, given the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse currently affecting the United States, researchers said. "Our study does not prove that bariatric surgery causes an increase in opioid use. However, it does demonstrate the widespread use of opioids among post-surgical patients, thereby highlighting the need for alternative pain management approaches," said study co-author Dr. Anita Courcoulas. She is chief of minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery at the Unversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The researchers followed more than 2,000 patients nationwide. Before surgery, 14.7 percent said they regularly used a prescription opioid. Six months after surgery, the rate fell to about 13 percent, ... Read more

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

New FDA Head Outlines 'Forceful Steps' Against Opioid Crisis

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – The new U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner has called on senior agency officers to develop "more forceful steps" to control the U.S. opioid epidemic. On Tuesday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's pick for the agency, announced the formation of an opioid policy steering committee to explore and develop additional approaches to confront the crisis. One solution, he said, is to cut back on unnecessarily prolonged painkiller use. Longer use increases the risk of opioid addiction. "The majority of people who eventually become addicted to opioids are exposed first to prescription opioids," Gottlieb said in a blog post on the FDA site. Misuse of potent painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicoprofen (hydrocodone/ibuprofen) sends 1,000 Americans to emergency rooms each day. Opioid-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, he said. ... Read more

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

1 in 4 Americans Knows Someone Hooked on Opioids: Poll

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – More than a quarter of Americans – and 1 in 3 millennials – say they know someone addicted to opioids or prescription painkillers, according to a new survey from the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Also, most respondents from the poll of more than 1,000 adults believe treatment is a better option than law enforcement to tackle the problem. "Our poll findings show that American area aware of the problem of opioid addiction, believe people can recover and want to see an emphasis on making treatment available," APA CEO and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin said. About 2 million Americans have a substance use disorder related to prescription opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). More than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. ... Read more

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

ERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription Practices

Posted 19 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – People in U.S. emergency rooms may receive unnecessary opioid painkiller prescriptions for minor injuries such as a sprained ankle, a new study finds. This practice – which varies widely depending on what area of the country you're treated in – potentially boosts the risk that patients will become dependent on the drugs. "The substantial variation in prescribing patterns of such extremely addictive medications for minor injuries results in many thousands of pills entering the community and places patients at an increased risk of continued use and potentially addiction," said lead author Dr. M. Kit Delgado. He's an assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "It's vital that we identify and understand the root causes of this growing issue," Delgado said in a school news release. The ... Read more

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

It's Often Family to the Rescue During Opioid ODs

Posted 17 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 17, 2017 – The tragic scenario has become far too familiar: A mother, a father or a sibling discovers the lifeless body of a loved one who has overdosed on opioids. But a new study suggests that family members may be able to play a lifesaving role in some of these instances, mostly because of increased access to an antidote that can reverse an otherwise deadly ending. Sometimes, even the victims can rescue themselves from a potentially fatal overdose. Researchers in Massachusetts looked at people who underwent training in using the antidote – known as naloxone (Narcan, Evzio) – and found that family members used it in about 20 percent of slightly over 4,000 rescue attempts. Almost all rescue attempts were successful. "Individuals who use opioids are likely to use naloxone on both friends and family" who overdose, explained study author Dr. Sarah Bagley, an assistant ... 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, Opana ER, Roxicodone

High Rates of Hepatitis C in Pregnancy Mirror Opioid Epidemic: CDC

Posted 11 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Chalk up another potential consequence of the U.S. opioid epidemic: The prevalence of hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled between 2009 and 2014, U.S. health officials report. Hepatitis C – which is caused most often by injection drug use – rose 89 percent nationwide among pregnant women. Increases were most notable in West Virginia and rural counties in Tennessee, areas hard-hit by the heroin and prescription painkiller epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Nationwide, 35 infants a day were exposed to the contagious liver disease, on average, study authors said. "We have seen a dramatic increase in opioid use in pregnancy and in the number of infants having drug withdrawal," said report author Dr. Stephen Patrick, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "Taken together, this suggests that ... Read more

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

Babies Born Addicted to Opioids Often Struggle With Learning

Posted 3 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 – Babies exposed to opioid painkillers in the womb are more likely to need special education services by the time they reach school age, a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Many infants born with an addiction to opioids – a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – wind up lagging behind other children in school, said Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill. She's a CDC officer assigned to the Tennessee Department of Health. Fill and her colleagues found that, compared with kids without the syndrome, Tennessee children born with NAS were: 44 percent more likely to be referred for evaluation of potential developmental delays. 36 percent more likely to meet their state's criteria for educational disability. 37 percent more likely to receive help with educational and developmental difficulties. "These children were more likely to have ... 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, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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