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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.
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]
New compound may lead to development of potential therapeutics for neuropathic pain

New compound may lead to development of potential therapeutics for neuropathic pain

A new compound discovered by a team of UC Davis investigators has potent actions against production of a chemical that which is implicated in the development of chronic pain following a peripheral nerve injury in the spinal cord. [More]
New multidisciplinary approach to managing colorectal operation results in shorter hospital stays, lower costs

New multidisciplinary approach to managing colorectal operation results in shorter hospital stays, lower costs

A new multidisciplinary approach to managing patients undergoing a colorectal operation results in shorter hospital stays, fewer complications, and lower medical costs, according to research results published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. [More]
Policymakers need to look beyond painkiller abuse to reduce opioid overdose deaths, say researchers

Policymakers need to look beyond painkiller abuse to reduce opioid overdose deaths, say researchers

According to researchers at Brandeis University, the University of North Florida and Johns Hopkins University, policymakers must look beyond painkiller abuse, also called non-medical use, in their efforts to reduce opioid overdose deaths. [More]
Study could lead to potential drug treatment for fighting addiction

Study could lead to potential drug treatment for fighting addiction

A research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered a mechanism in the brain that is key to making cocaine seem pleasurable, a finding that could lead to a drug treatment for fighting addiction. [More]
Preliminary research supports alternative drug for treating neonatal abstinence syndrome

Preliminary research supports alternative drug for treating neonatal abstinence syndrome

In the past decade, the number of Kentucky babies starting life with a drug dependency, or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), has skyrocketed from 1.3 per 1,000 births to 19 per 1,000 births. [More]

Study findings could offer roadmap for preventing deaths from drug overdoses

Results from a new study show that participants in drug overdose education programs tend to be parents (mostly mothers) who provide financial support for their son/daughter, have daily contact with their loved one, have applied for court-mandated treatment and have witnessed an overdose. [More]
Older users of opioids more likely to become victim of homicide, shows study

Older users of opioids more likely to become victim of homicide, shows study

Older users of opioids such as heroin are 27 times more likely to become a victim of homicide than the general population, a University of Manchester study of almost 200,000 users has found. [More]
Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, a privately-held pharmaceutical company, today announced a national strategic partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, that will help support its goal of cutting prescription drug-related deaths in half, saving approximately 10,000 lives over five years. [More]