March 12, 2012 |
Opioid medications such as codeine and oxycodone often are prescribed after surgery to relieve post-operative pain. The availability of such drugs is also well known to be a major factor in increasing rates of addiction and addiction-related overdose deaths. A new study suggests that giving opioid prescriptions after simple operations may create some of those problems. The study , published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at 391,139 people age 66 or older who had a short-stay surgery for something minor like cataracts, laparoscopic gallbladder removal, prostate tissue removal or varicose vein stripping.
April 6, 2011 |
Patients on higher doses of opioid painkillers are more likely to accidentally overdose than those prescribed lower doses, a new study finds. Those who were prescribed more than 100 milligrams of painkillers a day overdosed more than people limited to 1 to 20 milligrams, researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ann Arbor, Mich., found. The trend stayed true whether the patient had acute pain, chronic pain, a substance abuse problem or cancer. White, middle-age men were statistically more likely to overdose.
October 13, 2010
Addiction to opioids is a huge problem in the United States. In addition to heroin addiction, a growing number of people are getting hooked on prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. In a 2009 survey, more than 5.3 million people reported prescription opioid abuse in the past month. Researchers reported Tuesday on a new method for treating opioid addiction that takes one big problem out of the equation: getting the addict to adhere to treatment.
September 10, 2013 |
Patients should not be prescribed long-acting or extended-release opioid pain relievers unless they need daily, round-the-clock treatment of their pain that can't be managed by any other means, the Food and Drug Administration has told physicians. The new guidelines are to be included on the labels and patient information sheets of all prescription opioid pain relievers that dissolve slowly after taken. Along with a call for new research aimed at identifying what doses and modes of use are most likely to harm patients, the revised labels are the latest step taken by the agency to stem a growing epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction in the United States.
March 2, 2011 |
Consuming opioid pain relievers such as codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone just before pregnancy or early in pregnancy increases the risk of certain birth defects, especially congenital heart defects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Wednesday. The warning extends to such prescription painkillers as Vicodin, OxyContin and Tylenol-3, as well as a variety of generic versions of the drugs. Although there is an increased risk of some major types of birth defects from exposure to the drugs, "the absolute risk for any individual woman is relatively modest," said epidemiologist Cheryl S. Broussard of the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, who led a study of the drugs that will be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology . The findings come from the ongoing CDC-sponsored National Birth Defects Prevention Study , the largest study of birth defects ever performed in the United States, covering pregnant women in 10 states, including California.
February 19, 2013 |
Fatal drug overdoses have increased for the 11th consecutive year in the United States, new data show. According to a research letter published Tuesday from the National Center for Health Statistics, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010, an uptick from the previous year and the latest sign of a deadly trend involving prescription painkillers. In 2010, 57% of overdoses, or more than 22,000, involved known prescription drugs. Three-quarters of those involved painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet while another 9,400 involved some unidentified drug cocktail.