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Morphine is an extremely potent opiate analgesic psychoactive drug and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. In clinical medicine, morphine is regarded as the gold standard, or benchmark, of analgesics used to relieve severe or agonizing pain and suffering.
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death. [More]
New reference guide can help HIV care providers treat chronic pain

New reference guide can help HIV care providers treat chronic pain

Recent studies suggest many individuals with HIV have chronic pain. Estimates range from 39 percent all the way to 85 percent. Chronic pain is an important comorbid condition in individuals with HIV, as it is common and causes substantial disability. [More]
Promising therapeutic strategy for relieving neuropathic pain

Promising therapeutic strategy for relieving neuropathic pain

A specific molecule involved in maintaining pain after a nerve injury has been identified and blocked in mice by Hiroshima University researchers. These results reveal a promising therapeutic strategy for treating neuropathic pain. [More]
Japanese bioengineers tweak E. coli genes to pump out morphine precursor

Japanese bioengineers tweak E. coli genes to pump out morphine precursor

A common gut microbe could soon be offering us pain relief. Japanese bioengineers have tweaked Escherichia coli genes so that they pump out thebaine, a morphine precursor that can be modified to make painkillers. The genetically modified E. coli produces 300 times more thebaine with minimal risk of unregulated use compared to a recently developed method involving yeast. [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]
Researchers develop new painkiller as strong as morphine but not addictive

Researchers develop new painkiller as strong as morphine but not addictive

Researchers at Tulane University and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System have developed a painkiller that is as strong as morphine but isn't likely to be addictive and with fewer side effects, according to a new study in the journal Neuropharmacology. [More]
Educational programs, new clinic policies could significantly reduce level of opioid medication

Educational programs, new clinic policies could significantly reduce level of opioid medication

A recent study showed that medical provider training, new clinic policies and efforts to "taper" opioid use for pain treatment could significantly reduce the level of opioid medication that patients used -- a limited but positive step for a nation enmeshed in opioid use, abuse and overdose deaths. [More]
Opioid medication does not improve physical function in patients with neuropathic pain

Opioid medication does not improve physical function in patients with neuropathic pain

Opioids such as morphine, codeine and Tylenol 3 can be effective for treating pain, however, a new University of Alberta study finds that patients with neuropathic pain taking opioids report no improvements in physical functioning compared to those who were not prescribed opioids. [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]
Egalet submits NDA for ARYMO ER (morphine sulfate) extended-release tablets

Egalet submits NDA for ARYMO ER (morphine sulfate) extended-release tablets

Egalet Corporation, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative treatments for pain and other conditions, announced the company has submitted a new drug application (NDA) for ARYMO ER (morphine sulfate) extended-release tablets for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. [More]
Egalet, Teva sign agreement to commercialize SPRIX Nasal Spray in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

Egalet, Teva sign agreement to commercialize SPRIX Nasal Spray in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

Egalet Corporation, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative treatments for pain and other conditions, today announced a collaboration agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., a leading global pharmaceutical company. [More]
Motivational interviewing helps curb prescription opioid abuse among older adults with chronic pain

Motivational interviewing helps curb prescription opioid abuse among older adults with chronic pain

Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic proportions, with more than half of patients being treated for chronic pain reportedly misusing their medication at some point. [More]
Columbia University data scientists create world's first catalog of therapeutic venom

Columbia University data scientists create world's first catalog of therapeutic venom

What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans. [More]

Medical researchers use social media to study harmful side effects of narcotics medication

Harnessing the power of social media, medical researchers have sifted through more than two billion tweets and online posts to study the harmful side effects of narcotics medication taken for chronic pain. [More]
FDA approves Narcan nasal spray to prevent or reverse effects of opioid overdose

FDA approves Narcan nasal spray to prevent or reverse effects of opioid overdose

Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride, a life-saving medication that can stop or reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, as well as the illegal drug heroin. [More]
MSU professor finds surprising results about drug use behaviors

MSU professor finds surprising results about drug use behaviors

Conducting an economic analysis of drug use is a particularly difficult endeavor, but for Michigan State University professor and economist Siddharth Chandra, it just meant taking a look at the history books. [More]
University of Leicester awarded BBSRC grant to explore three key areas that impact human health

University of Leicester awarded BBSRC grant to explore three key areas that impact human health

The University of Leicester has been awarded over £1.5 million in order to advance knowledge and understanding in three key areas that impact on health. [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]
FDA approves Endo’s BELBUCA (buprenorphine) buccal film for use in patients with chronic pain

FDA approves Endo’s BELBUCA (buprenorphine) buccal film for use in patients with chronic pain

Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Endo International plc, and BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc., announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BELBUCA (buprenorphine) buccal film for use in patients with chronic pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. [More]
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