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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.
Review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for chronic postsurgical pain

Review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for chronic postsurgical pain

After a systematic review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for acute and chronic postsurgical pain, researchers have concluded that more trials are needed to determine whether these drugs should be prescribed for postsurgical pain on a regular basis. [More]
Viewpoints: Medicare no longer 'busting' the budget; a 'nightmare' trying to get coverage in D.C.

Viewpoints: Medicare no longer 'busting' the budget; a 'nightmare' trying to get coverage in D.C.

You're looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. [More]
Low dose of opioids including methadone effective for treatment of testosterone suppression

Low dose of opioids including methadone effective for treatment of testosterone suppression

Treatment for opioid addiction tampers with the testosterone levels of male but not female opioid users, McMaster University research has shown. [More]
Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Some infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) secondary to in-utero opioid exposure have a more difficult time going through withdrawal than others, but the underlying reasons are not well understood. [More]
New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. [More]
Acetyl fentanyl is more potent and dangerous than heroin

Acetyl fentanyl is more potent and dangerous than heroin

Emergency physicians should expect "an upswing in what on the surface appear to be heroin overdoses," but are actually overdoses tied to acetyl fentanyl, an opiate that is mixed into street drugs marketed as heroin. [More]
State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a hospital chain that has come under fire for billing and patient privacy issues, is facing opposition over its potential acquisition of six California hospitals, including two medical centers in Los Angeles County. On Friday, hospital workers, union representatives and elected officials protested against Prime outside St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, one of the six hospitals put up for sale this year by the Daughters of Charity Health System (Garland, 8/15). [More]
Study reports rising prevalence of chronic opioid use by SSDI recipients

Study reports rising prevalence of chronic opioid use by SSDI recipients

More than 40 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance recipients take opioid pain relievers, while the prevalence of chronic opioid use is over 20 percent and rising, reports a study in the September issue of Medical Care. [More]
Postoperative 'doctor shopping' linked to higher narcotic use among orthopaedic patients

Postoperative 'doctor shopping' linked to higher narcotic use among orthopaedic patients

"Doctor shopping," the growing practice of obtaining narcotic prescriptions from multiple providers, has led to measurable increases in drug use among postoperative trauma patients. [More]
First peer-reviewed comprehensive expert guidance on the use of neurostimulation for pain

First peer-reviewed comprehensive expert guidance on the use of neurostimulation for pain

Reflecting groundbreaking international consensus regarding a group of rapidly evolving medical interventions for chronic pain, the International Neuromodulation Society announced it will soon publish the first peer-reviewed comprehensive expert guidance on the appropriate use of neurostimulation for pain. [More]
Opioid compliance checklist shows promise for chronic pain management

Opioid compliance checklist shows promise for chronic pain management

Researchers have developed a brief and simple checklist that clinicians can use to monitor opioid adherence among people with chronic pain. [More]
New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse — developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy — is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]

New tool promises to reduce deaths caused by heroin overdose

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse - developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy - is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]
New study casts doubt on the effectiveness of brief counseling for illicit drug use

New study casts doubt on the effectiveness of brief counseling for illicit drug use

In an effort to stem substance use, the U.S. has invested heavily in the past decade in a brief screening-and-intervention protocol for alcohol and other drugs. [More]

FSMB takes effort to educate physicians on safe prescribing of opioid analgesics

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) announced today that the nation's state medical boards have kicked off a multi-state effort to educate health care professionals on the safe and responsible prescribing of extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid analgesics for patients with chronic pain. [More]
Opioid use does not impair reverse shoulder arthroplasty success

Opioid use does not impair reverse shoulder arthroplasty success

Taking opioids prior to reverse shoulder arthroplasty does not hamper patients’ chances of having successful outcomes, researchers have found. [More]
Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today issued a national Call for Proposals to improve the prescribing practices for prescription drugs that have a high risk of abuse or addiction. [More]
FDA approves Targiniq ER to treat severe pain

FDA approves Targiniq ER to treat severe pain

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended-release tablets), an extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. [More]
Telecare approach improves chronic musculoskeletal pain management

Telecare approach improves chronic musculoskeletal pain management

A collaborative care approach delivered by telephone is effective for managing chronic musculoskeletal pain, show findings from the Stepped Care to Optimize Pain Care Effectiveness study. [More]
Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

There's not much that Republicans like about the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but one thing they particularly dislike is the requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide comprehensive health insurance. [More]