Medicines/Supplements

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Painkillers

6 Things to Know About Kratom

Kratom sounds like it could be kryptonite’s second cousin. In fact, it’s an herbal supplement that’s said to have some pretty extraordinary superpowers.   According to its fans, kratom can reduce pain and help drug users recover from addiction. But critics say it’s a dangerous opioid just like heroin and…

5 Questions to Ask When Your Child Is Prescribed Pain Medication

Lisa Collien didn’t question the doctor when he prescribed an opioid painkiller to her then 13-year-old son, Brennan. He’d broken his collarbone playing football and was clearly in pain. At the time, she didn’t know that prescription painkillers can lead to opioid addiction, even among kids like her son, who…

For Some, Placebo as Effective as Med for Pain Relief

Some people with chronic pain can take a placebo and experience relief as effectively as if they were taking active medication, according to a new study. And researchers say they can predict which patients will respond this way. Researchers enrolled about 60 people with chronic back pain for the study….

Quick Hits: Pain Reliever Linked to CV Events, More Kids With ADHD & More

A pain reliever that is available both over-the-counter and via prescription is associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events compared to other analgesics. Researchers looked at 252 studies covering more than 6.3 million Danish people. They examined the cardiovascular risks of starting Voltaren (diclofenac) compared with starting Advil…

Opioid Prescribing Relatively High for Sprained Ankles

A quarter of patients who went to the hospital for a sprained ankle ended up leaving with a prescription for an opioid, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined private insurance claims for 31,000 patients 18 and over who had sprained their ankle. Of that…

In Defense of Pain

A NIH task force is about to discuss best practices for pain management amid the nation’s opioid crisis. Meanwhile, the AMA wants pain removed as the “fifth vital sign.” What’s happening here? Pain is under attack. The AMA (American Medical Association) wants pain removed as the “fifth vital sign.” Doctors…

Can the Pain Without the Meds: 8 Non-Pharma Therapies

“When your whole body is a giant toothache, nothing fixes it,” observes Charley Pavlosky, 62, recalling the systemic pain that plagued him 11 years ago. A lifelong athlete, he was familiar with the aches and pains of being active – he’d even had surgery to repair a disc – but…

Can Opioids Be Replaced in Treating Chronic Pain?

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 producing few…

Could Electrical Device Implants Be the Future of Medicine?

A UK-based company is working on developing tiny electrical implantable devices that could treat a variety of chronic ailments, including pain, but without the side effects that accompany traditional medicines. This new field of medicine is known as bioelectronics. The implanted devices would deliver electrical impulses to nerves that influence…

Long-Term OTC Pain Killer Use Linked to Hearing Loss in Older Women

Using the common over-the-counter pain relievers Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) over the long term may increase the risk of hearing loss in some older women. Researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined data from more than 54,000 women, aged between 48 and 73 years old, that took part…

Celebrex As Safe As OTC Pain Meds, But Should You Still Take It?

Celebrex, a prescription pain medication in the same class as Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in 2004 over cardiovascular concerns, is as safe as over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. However, you may want to think twice before switching from Advil or Aleve to Celebrex. The somewhat surprising finding is…

About Half of Americans Take Rx Painkillers, Sedatives or Stimulants

Last year, almost 45% of Americans aged 12 and older took prescription pain relievers, sedatives, stimulants or tranquilizers, accounting for 119 million people. However, even more concerning is that 19 million of those – or 16% – misused those drugs, according to new federal data. The National Survey on Drug…

Who’s to Blame for Addiction?

A documentary filmmaker uses the death of his brother, a WWE star, as the starting point to look at the hows and whys of opioid addiction. I’m not a big documentary fan, but I was drawn in by the title “Prescription Thugs” (released in theaters January 22, 2016 and now available…

FDA warns of heart risk for many common pain relievers

The FDA is calling on drug makers of some popular painkillers to strengthen their warning labels after a review of new safety information. The warning labels on non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, must be udpated to identify an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke. Via CNN….

Increased risk of homicide linked with use of certain painkillers

Researchers in Finland analyzed data on the impact that prescription drug use had on 959 convicted murderers, prior to them committing murder. One such drug, benzodiazepines, used to treat anxietyand insomnia, increased the likelihood by 45% that a person would commit a homicide. The greatest increase was associated with opiate painkillers, which…

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy May Lower Testosterone Levels In Unborn Sons

Acetaminophen may reduce testosterone production in the male offspring according to a mice examination by the University of Edinburgh. When the female mice were fed acetaminophen for seven days, the unborn male offspring showed an 18% drop in seminal vesicle weight and a 45% drop in testosterone levels. Via Medical…

Drug withdrawal among babies rising ‘due to prescription of opioids for mothers’

Women receiving opioid pain reliever prescriptions, such as hydrocone, while pregnant are at increased risk of their babies having neonatal abstinence syndrome according to a study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Results showed that babies exposed to opioids were more likely to be born preterm, have complicated births, low birth…

Drugs in Pregnancy: Part 1 — Painkillers

Between 2009 and 2011, more than 14% of pregnant women took prescribed narcotic painkillers, also known as opioids, for pain at some point during their pregnancy, according to a recent study by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). Doctors prescribed opioids for back pain, abdominal pain, migraine, joint pain, and…

Narcotic Painkiller Use Tied to Higher Risk for Depression

High doses of powerful narcotic painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin, appear to be linked to a higher risk of depression in patients, according to research published in the journal Pain. Although the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, people who used higher doses of narcotic painkillers to manage their pain were…

Certain Painkillers Tied to Raised Risk of Death After Stroke

In a large study from Denmark — based on more than 100,000 people hospitalized for a first stroke between 2004 and 2012 — investigators wanted to see if the painkillers affected recovery from a stroke. The researchers found that use of Celebrex prior to hospitalization for ischemic stroke was associated…

4 Quotes to Spark Conversations and Action

1. ‘We don’t perform trials over the course of 10 years to see what our [drug] decisions now mean for later.’— 1 Drug or 2? – Parents See Risk But Also Hope, New York Times, November 15, 2014 Why not? And if we haven’t until now, what is the excuse…

Double Trouble with Acetaminophen

It’s in my nature — I see danger everywhere. But it would help if it wasn’t true that there is danger everywhere! Even in the OTC aisle of the drug store. OTC drugs are supposed to be broadly safe, hard to abuse and unlikely to cause harm or addiction if you follow…

Acetaminophen may not relieve back pain

According to a new study, acetaminophen isn’t any more effective in alleviating an aching back than letting the pain naturally subside. Researchers in Australia found that patients who took acetaminophen for low back pain had the same recovery time as those who took a placebo, or sugar pill. Via CNN….

The Tipping Point of Addiction vs. Pain Management

Forget heroin, forget cocaine. Prescription drugs kill more of us than those 2 combined. Prescription drugs can kill when misused by patients in error or by addiction. Approximately 15,000 people died in 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available) from overdoses using narcotic drugs like Oxycontin, Percocet,…

FDA Requiring Long-term Research of OxyContin Use

UPDATE: Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, has agreed to turn over to California authorities its list of 49 CA doctors suspected of over-prescribing the much-abused opioid pain killer. Purdue revealed last month that it has been keeping a list of high-prescribing doctors since 2002. There are 1,800 doctors from across…

California bills zero in on risky pain pill prescribers

A California state law will make it easier to find docs who are suspected of over prescribing addictive drugs. The bill is in response to the outcry over the list compiled by Purdue, makers of OxyContin, of such docs. Purdue has refused to release the list to authorities. Published 9/19/2013…