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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.
Researchers use wristband sensors to detect how opioid users in emergency room reacted to dosages

Researchers use wristband sensors to detect how opioid users in emergency room reacted to dosages

There is merit in looking at the use of wearable biosensors to detect whether opioid users stay focused on their rehabilitation programs. [More]
Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, based on a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. Nearly 10 million Americans, or 4.1 percent of the adult population, used opioid medications in 2012-2013 a class of drugs that includes OxyContin and Vicodin, without a prescription or not as prescribed (in greater amounts, more often, or longer than prescribed) in the past year. [More]
Drexel University researchers aim to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in chronic pain

Drexel University researchers aim to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in chronic pain

Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, disabling and expensive public health crises in the United States. It affects more than 100 million Americans, with annual costs estimated at $635 billion, says a 2014 report from the American Pain Society. [More]
Long-term opioid therapy may not be effective to manage pain in sickle cell disease patients

Long-term opioid therapy may not be effective to manage pain in sickle cell disease patients

In a small study looking at pain assessments in adults with sickle cell disease, researchers at Johns Hopkins says overall, those treated long-term with opioids often fared worse in measures of pain, fatigue and curtailed daily activities than those not on long-term opioids. [More]
Nonopioid interventional options for chronic pain not covered by insurance in few U.S. states

Nonopioid interventional options for chronic pain not covered by insurance in few U.S. states

Recent studies have shown significant therapeutic value from the use of high-frequency - 10,000 (HF-10) spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for patients experiencing chronic back and leg pain. [More]
Opioid use common among Medicare beneficiaries after hospital discharge

Opioid use common among Medicare beneficiaries after hospital discharge

Nearly 15 percent of opioid-naïve patients hospitalized under Medicare are discharged with a new prescription for opioids, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine. [More]
New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

New survey reveals more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills

In the midst of an epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction and overdose deaths, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey suggests that more than half of patients prescribed opioids have leftover pills -- and many save them to use later. [More]
Study describes how opioid receptors participate in spermatozoa production

Study describes how opioid receptors participate in spermatozoa production

The study conducted at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country describes for the first time how these receptors participate in spermatogenesis. [More]
Risk group system may help better predict long-term consequences from whiplash trauma

Risk group system may help better predict long-term consequences from whiplash trauma

Possible long-term consequences from a whiplash trauma can be effectively predicted if the injured persons are subdivided into different risk groups shortly after the car accident. This is shown by a Danish study that was presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Copenhagen. [More]
Study identifies persistent opioid use in some patients after knee or hip replacement

Study identifies persistent opioid use in some patients after knee or hip replacement

Many patients undergoing hip or knee replacement are still taking prescription opioid pain medications up to six months after surgery, reports a study in PAIN, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain. [More]
Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone could actually prolong and increase pain even after only a few days’ use, according to research conducted on rats by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US. [More]
Brief opioid exposure can cause increase in chronic pain

Brief opioid exposure can cause increase in chronic pain

The dark side of painkillers - their dramatic increase in use and ability to trigger abuse, addiction and thousands of fatal overdoses annually in the United States is in the news virtually every day. [More]
Reducing use of opioid medications possible, but challenging

Reducing use of opioid medications possible, but challenging

A team of researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System recently surveyed patients to understand barriers to reducing the use of opioids to manage chronic pain. The results of those interviews are published in the current issue of the journal Pain Medicine. [More]
Inadequate monitoring places post-operative patients at risk for opioid-induced respiratory depression

Inadequate monitoring places post-operative patients at risk for opioid-induced respiratory depression

Nearly 75 percent of hospitalized patients receiving opioids for pain management are not monitored according to hospital guidelines. [More]
Pharmacist suggests education as foremost strategy to control opioid abuse

Pharmacist suggests education as foremost strategy to control opioid abuse

Technologies that make it harder for people to abuse opioids - like doctoring pills so that they produce unpleasant side effects if broken, crushed or injected -- likely will have limited effectiveness in stemming the global epidemic of opioid abuse, according to Adam Kaye, a professor of pharmacy at University of the Pacific. [More]
First buprenorphine implant for opioid dependence treatment gets FDA approval

First buprenorphine implant for opioid dependence treatment gets FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Probuphine, the first buprenorphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant, low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine, as part of a complete treatment program. [More]
Antidote-resistant overdose patients may have received synthetic opioid W-18, suspects anesthesiologist

Antidote-resistant overdose patients may have received synthetic opioid W-18, suspects anesthesiologist

Months ago, ASRA member and anesthesiologist Anita Gupta, MD, suspected overdose patients had received heroin spiked with a synthetic opioid additive because they were not responding to the antidote, naloxone, routinely used by emergency workers. [More]
Easy, immediate access to effective antidotes could help reduce deaths from opioid overdose

Easy, immediate access to effective antidotes could help reduce deaths from opioid overdose

Over the past 15 years, deaths caused by heroin and prescription opioid overdoses have quadrupled despite the existence of a highly effective antidote. The cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society, explores what it might take to turn the tide. [More]
Better self-care and patient education can improve treatment for chronic pain

Better self-care and patient education can improve treatment for chronic pain

The National Pain Strategy, released this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, places strong emphasis on self management and patient education as critical pathways for improving treatment of chronic pain, especially the leading malady, back pain. [More]
Gene therapy could be potential treatment for neuropathic pain in cancer patients

Gene therapy could be potential treatment for neuropathic pain in cancer patients

A study providing new information about neuropathic pain afflicting some 90 percent of cancer patients who have had nerve damage caused by tumors, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation indicates gene therapy as a possible treatment. [More]
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