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Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat people with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to opiates. It is a schedule II prescription drug.
Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

While buprenorphine has long been used to treat adults with opioid dependence, its efficacy can be hindered by lack of adherence to daily, sublingual (beneath the tongue) doses of the medication. [More]
Study sheds new light on the brain’s decision-making processes

Study sheds new light on the brain’s decision-making processes

Netflix binge-watching versus a hike in the woods. A cheeseburger versus kale salad. Fentanyl versus Tylenol. New UC research from the University California, Berkeley, suggests our brain activity could be influenced to make the healthier choice. [More]
New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

With use of synthetic opioid "designer drugs" on the rise, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have a new strategy to curb addiction and even prevent fatal overdoses. [More]
Long-term use of opioids increases risk of new-onset depression

Long-term use of opioids increases risk of new-onset depression

Opioids may cause short-term improvement in mood, but long-term use imposes risk of new-onset depression, a Saint Louis University study shows. [More]
New data shows opioid overdose deaths hit record levels in 2014

New data shows opioid overdose deaths hit record levels in 2014

From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million Americans died from drug overdoses. Opioid overdose deaths, including both opioid pain relievers and heroin, hit record levels in 2014, with an alarming 14 percent increase in just one year, according to new data published today in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [More]
Stanford study finds that overprescription of opioids goes beyond ‘pill mill’ prescribers

Stanford study finds that overprescription of opioids goes beyond ‘pill mill’ prescribers

Most prescriptions for opioid painkillers are made by the broad swath of U.S. general practitioners, not by a limited group of specialists, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. [More]

Prescription opioids overprescribed in some regions of British Columbia, UBC study finds

Strong painkillers known as prescription opioids appear to be overprescribed in some regions of British Columbia (B.C.), resulting in higher rates of overdose and death, according to a new study from UBC. [More]
BMC significantly reduces emergency wait time, improves SCD care for pediatric patients

BMC significantly reduces emergency wait time, improves SCD care for pediatric patients

Boston Medical Center has significantly reduced the amount of time that pediatric patients experiencing pain from sickle cell disease (SCD) wait before receiving pain medication when they come to the emergency department. The hospital's quality improvement initiative cut the wait time by more than 50 percent, from an average of 56 minutes to 23 minutes, from triage to administration of the first dose of pain medication. [More]
Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

With the heroin epidemic in the United States reaching deadlier heights, Jacksonville-based Lakeview Health drug and alcohol treatment center's Dr. Philip Hemphill is helping to explain why fentanyl is causing a new wave of overdoses. Because Fentanyl is approximately 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade heroin and often illegally purchased unknowingly by recreational users as heroin, the risk of death skyrockets. [More]
Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

In response to the growing opioid crisis, several states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have granted pharmacists the authority to provide naloxone rescue kits without a prescription to at-risk patients. This model of pharmacy-based naloxone (PBN) education and distribution is one of the public health strategies currently being evaluated at hundreds of pharmacies in both states to determine the impact on opioid overdose death rates. [More]
Unituxin (dinutuximab) granted EC Marketing Authorisation for treatment of childhood neuroblastoma

Unituxin (dinutuximab) granted EC Marketing Authorisation for treatment of childhood neuroblastoma

United Therapeutics Corporation announced today that the European Commission (EC) has granted Marketing Authorisation for Unituxin (dinutuximab) for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in patients aged 12 months to 17 years, who have previously received induction chemotherapy and achieved at least a partial response, followed by myeloablative therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). [More]
BDSI announces FDA approval of sNDA for new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII

BDSI announces FDA approval of sNDA for new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. announced the approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for a new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII for the management of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer who are opioid tolerant. [More]
FDA accepts sNDA to review Brintellix clinical trial data for treatment of major depressive disorder

FDA accepts sNDA to review Brintellix clinical trial data for treatment of major depressive disorder

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) and H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for review to add clinical data regarding the effect of Brintellix (vortioxetine) on certain aspects of cognitive function in adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to the current product label. [More]
1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term. [More]
Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines. [More]
Depomed acquires U.S. rights to NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Depomed acquires U.S. rights to NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Depomed, Inc. today announced that it has closed the acquisition of the U.S. rights to the NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for $1.05 billion. The NUCYNTA franchise includes: NUCYNTA ER (tapentadol) extended release tablets indicated for the management of pain, including neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment; NUCYNTA (tapentadol), an immediate release version of tapentadol, for management of moderate to severe acute pain in adults; and NUCYNTA (tapentadol) oral solution, an approved oral form of tapentadol that has not been launched. [More]
PAION initiates Remimazolam Phase 3 trial in patients undergoing colonoscopy

PAION initiates Remimazolam Phase 3 trial in patients undergoing colonoscopy

PAION, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PAION AG, today announced the initiation of a U.S. Phase 3 clinical trial of Remimazolam, an ultra-short-acting sedative/anesthetic, for procedural sedation in patients undergoing colonoscopy. [More]
Mylan releases Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr in U.S.

Mylan releases Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr in U.S.

Mylan N.V. and Mylan Inc. today announced the U.S. launch of its Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr, adding to its existing offering of Fentanyl Transdermal System 12, 25, 50, 75 and 100 mcg/hr. [More]
Accidental fentanyl exposure in children can be fatal

Accidental fentanyl exposure in children can be fatal

Infants and children are at a higher risk of accidental exposure to fentanyl patches—adhesive patches used to deliver higher doses of some opiates through the skin to relieve chronic pain. [More]
AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

According to a new position statement from the American Academy of Neurology, the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. [More]
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