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An opioid is a chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors in these two organ systems mediate both the beneficial effects and the side effects of opioids.
MOVANTIK (naloxegol) now available in U.S. for treatment of OIC in adult patients with non-cancer pain

MOVANTIK (naloxegol) now available in U.S. for treatment of OIC in adult patients with non-cancer pain

Nektar Therapeutics reported that partner AstraZeneca announced today that MOVANTIK (naloxegol) has launched in the United States. On September 16, 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MOVANTIK as the first once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. [More]
Study provides new estimates of opioid misuse, addiction

Study provides new estimates of opioid misuse, addiction

New estimates suggest that 20 to 30 percent of opioid analgesic drugs prescribed for chronic pain are misused, while the rate of opioid addiction is approximately 10 percent, reports a study in the April issue of PAIN, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. [More]
Data demonstrates benefits associated with use of EXPAREL in hip, knee replacement patients

Data demonstrates benefits associated with use of EXPAREL in hip, knee replacement patients

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced data demonstrating the benefits associated with the use of EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) in a study of over 2,200 hip and knee replacement patients. [More]
Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation reduces opioid tolerance, opioid-induced pain

Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation reduces opioid tolerance, opioid-induced pain

Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation reduced opioid tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia caused by daily morphine injections in rats, according to new research. [More]
Healthcare systems miss life-saving treatments learnt on battlefield

Healthcare systems miss life-saving treatments learnt on battlefield

Trauma is responsible for more global deaths annually than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Yet healthcare systems in many countries are missing out on life-saving treatments learnt on the battlefield, according to a review by King's College London and published today in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. [More]
Daiichi Sankyo signs co-commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca for MOVANTIK (naloxegol)

Daiichi Sankyo signs co-commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca for MOVANTIK (naloxegol)

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. today announced a co-commercialization agreement with AstraZeneca for MOVANTIK (naloxegol) in the US, in line with the Daiichi Sankyo strategy to expand its US portfolio through strategic alliances, in addition to internal R&D and acquisitions. [More]
United Therapeutics announces FDA approval of dinutuximab for treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma

United Therapeutics announces FDA approval of dinutuximab for treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma

United Therapeutics Corporation announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Unituxin (dinutuximab) Injection (formerly called ch14.18), in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA), for the treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma who achieve at least a partial response to prior first-line multiagent, multimodality therapy. [More]
Stepped-care strategy improves function, decreases pain severity in veterans

Stepped-care strategy improves function, decreases pain severity in veterans

Although U.S. military veterans who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan are more likely to suffer chronic pain than veterans of any other conflict in American history, little headway has been made in helping them manage the often debilitating effects of chronic pain. [More]
Investigational drug may attack cause of vaso-occlusion crises in sickle cell anemia

Investigational drug may attack cause of vaso-occlusion crises in sickle cell anemia

Treatment for painful episodes of blood vessel obstruction in sickle cell anemia is currently limited to controlling pain, but an investigational therapy might be able to interfere with the underlying cause of these events, known as vaso-occlusion crises, researchers at Duke Medicine report. [More]
Survey: Only 53% of primary care physicians use state's prescription drug monitoring programs

Survey: Only 53% of primary care physicians use state's prescription drug monitoring programs

In a new survey, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that physicians report relatively high awareness of state databases that track drug prescriptions but more than one-fifth indicated they were not aware of their state's program at all. [More]
Anticholinergic medications associated with pneumonia risk in older people

Anticholinergic medications associated with pneumonia risk in older people

Taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects is associated with a significantly higher risk for developing pneumonia in a study of more than 3,000 older Group Health patients living in the community--not in nursing homes. [More]
Pain from social rejection lasts longer for people with untreated depression

Pain from social rejection lasts longer for people with untreated depression

Rejected by a person you like? Just "shake it off" and move on, as music star Taylor Swift says. [More]
New, first-of-its-kind app helps patients with chronic pain track opioid use

New, first-of-its-kind app helps patients with chronic pain track opioid use

A new, first-of-its-kind app has launched to help patients suffering from chronic pain track their opioid use and measure pain levels to assist with the safe use of opioids. [More]
International study shows potential new therapy to treat patients with neuropathic pain

International study shows potential new therapy to treat patients with neuropathic pain

An international study led by scientists at McGill University reports, for the first time, that drugs that selectively target the melatonin MT2 receptor represent a novel class of analgesic drugs that could be used to treat patients with neuropathic pain. [More]
Prescription painkiller abuse: A worst drug overdose epidemic in history

Prescription painkiller abuse: A worst drug overdose epidemic in history

The Centers for Disease Control calls prescription painkiller abuse "one of the worst drug overdose epidemics in history." [More]
BUSM's medical education program wins HIDTA award for Outstanding Prevention Effort

BUSM's medical education program wins HIDTA award for Outstanding Prevention Effort

White House Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli has awarded Boston University School of Medicine's Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE of Pain) program a 2014 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) award for Outstanding Prevention Effort. [More]
New compound appears to play role in development of opioid tolerance

New compound appears to play role in development of opioid tolerance

While opioids are a widely used treatment for pain, patients who take them on a regular basis can become tolerant, requiring a higher dose for continued pain relief. In a study published in Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, researchers identified a compound that appears to play a role in the development of opioid tolerance. [More]
Increasing opioid doses to manage chronic pain may intensify depression

Increasing opioid doses to manage chronic pain may intensify depression

Patients who increased doses of opioid medicines to manage chronic pain were more likely to experience an increase in depression, according to Saint Louis University findings in Pain. [More]
Opioid withdrawal in Ontario newborns increases 15-fold

Opioid withdrawal in Ontario newborns increases 15-fold

The number of newborns suffering from opioid withdrawal increased 15-fold in Ontario over 20 years, according to research published today in CMAJ Open. [More]
FDA accepts NDA filing for Inspirion Delivery Technologies' investigational drug, MorphaBond ER

FDA accepts NDA filing for Inspirion Delivery Technologies' investigational drug, MorphaBond ER

Inspirion Delivery Technologies, LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused solely on the development of Abuse-Deterrent Formulations (ADFs) of opioid products, together with its financial partner Trygg Pharma Group, announced that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has accepted for filing the New Drug Application ("NDA") submitted on November 21, 2014 for its investigational drug, MorphaBond ER, an extended-release (ER), abuse-deterrent formulation of morphine. [More]
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