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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, Substance Abuse, M O S, 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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Aspirin, Codeine, Lortab, 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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Health Tip: Avoid These 5 Pre-Bedtime Don'ts

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Your habits just before you slip into bed could be sabotaging your night of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says do NOT: Take any over-the-counter medications that contain pseudoephedrine, found in common cold medicines, which can keep you awake. Opt for a nighttime formula that may help you feel drowsy. Text, watch TV or spend time on the computer shortly before bed. Take a hot shower or bath just before bed. It's best to do so about an hour before you plan to sleep, as that gives your body temperature time to drop again. Indulge in a greasy, fattening, salty bedtime snack, which can be stimulating and trigger nightmares. Drink caffeine beyond the morning, as it can stay in your system for as long as 12 hours. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sta-D, Caffeine, Pseudoephedrine, Fioricet, Excedrin, Claritin-D, Alert, Mucinex D, DayQuil, Fiorinal, Allegra-D, Excedrin Migraine, Bromfed DM, Cafergot, Tylenol Cold, Advil Cold and Sinus, Actifed

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, Codeine/Promethazine, Statuss, 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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opiate Withdrawal, Opana, Subutex

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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Tylenol, Opana, Neuralgia, 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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, Chronic Pain, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Dilaudid, Opana ER

Health Tip: Avoid These Things Before Bedtime

Posted 20 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

-- If you're not getting enough sleep, it could be due to your activities before you hit the hay. The National Sleep Foundation warns against: Taking medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a stimulant. If you need relief from cold or allergy symptoms, opt for an antihistamine designed for night-time use. Don't watch TV, work at a computer or use a tablet or smartphone. Light from these screens can over-stimulate your brain. Opt for a book or music instead. Don't take a hot bath just before bed. Bathe at least an hour before so your body has time to cool off before sleep. Don't go to sleep with a full belly, especially if it's loaded with foods high in fat and salt. Don't drink beverages that contain caffeine after the morning. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours. Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Zyrtec, Sta-D, Promethazine, Claritin, Loratadine, Allegra, Diphenhydramine, Pseudoephedrine, Phenergan, Vistaril, Cetirizine, Sudafed, Cyproheptadine, NyQuil, Atarax, Claritin-D

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, Methadone, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Opiate Dependence, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Subutex, Smoking, Dilaudid, Opana ER, Roxicodone

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, Codeine/Promethazine, Statuss, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, Fioricet with Codeine, Robitussin-AC, Tylenol with Codeine 4, Codeine/Guaifenesin, Iophen-C NR, Fiorinal with Codeine III, Iophen, Guaiatussin AC, Poly-Tussin, Acetaminophen/Butalbital/Caffeine/Codeine

New Moms' Codeine Use Down Since Health Warnings

Posted 12 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – Fewer new mothers have been prescribed the painkiller codeine since public health officials warned about a rare, but potential risk of overdose for breast-feeding babies, a new study says. Experts said the study results, reported in the May 12 Journal of the American Medical Association, are good news. "The trend is going in the direction we want it," said lead researcher Kate Smolina, of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. On the other hand, she added, a significant number of women were still being prescribed codeine in 2011 – three to four years after U.S. and Canadian health officials first issued their warnings. "Prescriptions are still too high," Smolina said. "We'd like to see it closer to zero." Codeine is an ingredient in certain prescription painkillers and cough medications. It was long considered the safest narcotic painkiller ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Morphine, Codeine, MS Contin, Kadian, Cheratussin AC, Delivery, Tylenol with Codeine, Tylenol with Codeine 3, M O S, Avinza, Embeda, Codeine/Promethazine, Statuss, Fiorinal with Codeine, Acetaminophen/Codeine, MSIR, Fioricet with Codeine, Roxanol, Robitussin-AC

Narcotic Painkillers in Pregnancy Common, Harmful to Baby: Study

Posted 13 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 – Use of prescription narcotic painkillers is common in pregnancy and increases the likelihood a baby will be born small or early, or go through painful drug withdrawal, a new study finds. These prescription painkillers, also called opioids, include drugs such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin), codeine and morphine. Nearly 30 percent of the Tennessee mothers-to-be in the new study used at least one of these drugs while pregnant, and the associated risks went up if they also smoked or took antidepressants. "I was surprised by the number of women prescribed opioid pain relievers in pregnancy," said lead author Dr. Stephen Patrick, a neonatologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. "I was also surprised by how commonly women smoked in pregnancy, and how much that increased the risk of neonatal abstinence ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Roxicodone, MS Contin, Endocet, Kadian, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet 10/325, Vicoprofen, Tylenol with Codeine 3, M O S

One-Quarter of Narcotic Painkillers Misused, Study Shows

Posted 1 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – Almost a quarter of powerful narcotic painkillers that are prescribed for chronic pain are misused, and the rate of addiction among patients hovers near 10 percent, a new review shows. The findings raise questions about the benefits of widespread use of these painkillers to treat chronic pain, the researchers said. "On average, misuse was documented in approximately one out of four or five patients, and addiction [was found] in approximately one out of 10 or 11 patients," who were prescribed the drugs as part of their treatment for chronic pain, wrote Kevin Vowles, from the University of New Mexico, and colleagues. In the new review, researchers analyzed 38 published studies, 35 of which were conducted in the United States. The average rates of misuse were 21 percent to 29 percent, while the average rates of addiction were 8 percent to 12 percent, according ... Read more

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

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