News & Opinion

Opioid News

Opioid-Related Side Effects Common Among Hospitalized Patients Who Undergo Medical Procedures

May 29, 2018

Many hospitalized patients who are given opioids during and after invasive medical procedures commonly experience moderate to severe opioid-related adverse events, according to a new study

The 2 Most-Prescribed Drugs in America

March 26, 2018
About Half of Americans Take Rx Painkillers, Sedatives or Stimulants

In more than 25 states, levothyroxine — a treatment for underactive thyroid — is the most-prescribed drug. And in 10 states, the most popular prescription medications are the opioid pain pills Vicodin and Norco (hydrocodone and acetaminophen).

While the nation continues to fight the opioid crisis, Vicodin and Norco are Continue Reading →

Opioids No Better for Leg & Arm Pain Than Ibuprofen

November 7, 2017

If you have a lot of pain in your leg or arm, you might be expecting (and hoping!) that your doctor will give you a powerful pain reliever like codeine or oxycodone. That would likely be a mistake.

A new study published today in JAMA (Journal Continue Reading →

Quick Hits: Pharma Gifts and Doctor Prescribing, Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Soar & More

November 2, 2017
Quick Hits: FDA Panel Favors New Depression Drug, Marijuana Use and Depression & More

Doctors who accept gifts from pharmaceutical companies have a tendency to prescribe more drugs, especially ones that are more expensive. Data was collected from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the DC Department of Health. Researchers analyzed prescriptions written by doctors in Washington and gifts given to them Continue Reading →

Study Reveals High Rates of Opioid Prescriptions and Excessive Dosing in Dialysis Patients

October 4, 2017

More than 25% of dialysis patients received high doses of opioids that exceeded recommendations, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers analyzed data collected from 2006-2010 that examined prescriptions patients received while undergoing dialysis therapy.

The study found Continue Reading →

Quick Hits: Big Rise in Hospitalizations for Kids with Opioid Side Effects & Persistent Pain Linked to Memory Decline in Seniors

September 21, 2017
Quick Hits: FDA Panel Favors New Depression Drug, Marijuana Use and Depression & More

Big Rise in Hospitalizations for Kids With Opioid Side Effects Researchers have found that young children are experiencing the harmful side effects of opioid painkillers at an increased rate. The research team collected data on adolescent hospital stays and examined children from 1 month to 17 years old. The preliminary Continue Reading →

Groups Ask FDA to Pull Ultra-High-Dose Opioids From Market, Citing Risks

September 6, 2017

Several medical and health organizations are calling on the FDA to remove ultra-high-dosage (UHD) opioid painkillers from the market since the risks of the potent meds, such as abuse and overdose, outweigh their benefits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that patients consume Continue Reading →

FDA Wants Doctors to Rethink Opioid Cough Suppressants for Children

August 21, 2017

Concern expressed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians about the use of cough suppressants, and in particular opioid cough suppressants, in children has lead FDA chief Scott Gottlieb to make that the subject of an upcoming meeting of the Pediatric Advisory Committee.

Gottlieb Continue Reading →

Quick Hits: New Med Doesn’t Help Lower Back Pain, Acupuncture & Electrotherapy Help After Knee Replacement Surgery, More

August 18, 2017
Quick Hits: FDA Panel Favors New Depression Drug, Marijuana Use and Depression & More

A medication for lower back pain could be ineffective and cause side effects. A new study found that gabapentinoids –- an analgesic typically prescribed for lower back pain — may actually be ineffective and could cause unwanted side effects. A research team from Canada examined data from eight randomized trials Continue Reading →

Can Opioids Be Replaced in Treating Chronic Pain?

August 14, 2017

Researchers are testing a potential replacement for opioids for chronic pain. A team at Japan’s Okayama University has discovered that the compound clodronate may relieve pain with few side effects.

According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, clodronate obstructs the triggers for chronic pain while Continue Reading →

Quick Hits: Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Don’t Deter, Antidepressants Can Increase Head Injuries in Seniors & More

August 11, 2017
Quick Hits: FDA Panel Favors New Depression Drug, Marijuana Use and Depression & More

Abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) of opioids do not reduce the overall abuse of the painkillers according to a report from the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). New research suggests that ADFs can possibly lead opioid abusers to switch to other harmful drugs, including heroin and fentanyl. Dan Ollendorf, PhD, Continue Reading →

Overprescribing Opioids for Cancer Survivors

August 8, 2017

In what seems to be another instance of opioid overprescription, researchers have found that cancer survivors — especially those who are young and rural — are given opioid painkillers over an extended period of time after their diagnosis compared to those never diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers from the University of Continue Reading →