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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.
Better pain relief options for individuals with chronic back and leg pain

Better pain relief options for individuals with chronic back and leg pain

Chronic back and leg pain sufferers in search of better pain relief options may have a new choice. According to a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, patients who received a novel high frequency form of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy experienced significantly greater, long-term relief for both chronic back and leg pain, when compared to a traditional low frequency form of SCS therapy. [More]
Opioid prescribing guidelines that focus high-dose use may need revision, say researchers

Opioid prescribing guidelines that focus high-dose use may need revision, say researchers

Overdoses of opioid pain medications frequently occur in people who aren't chronic users with high prescribed opioid doses--the groups targeted by current opioid prescribing guidelines, reports a study in the August issue of Medical Care. [More]
SLU researcher awarded NIH's Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award to solve pain-killer problem

SLU researcher awarded NIH's Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award to solve pain-killer problem

SLU pain researcher Daniela Salvemini has been awarded the NIH's Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award (CEBRA) to solve an alarming problem: pain killers that are capable of quelling terrible pain also carry debilitating side effects and significant risk of addiction. [More]
National Safety Council requests employers to develop workplace policies around use of opioid painkillers

National Safety Council requests employers to develop workplace policies around use of opioid painkillers

The National Safety Council is calling on employers to develop workplace policies around the use of opioid prescription painkillers after reviewing research and court cases showing the negative impacts of these medicines on employee safety and worker's compensation costs. [More]
Research findings may help health care providers curb painkiller misuse

Research findings may help health care providers curb painkiller misuse

People who misuse prescription pain relievers all have one thing in common, University of Georgia researchers have discovered: a history of recent illicit drug use. How they acquire such drugs varies according to age, however. [More]
Internet-based program can help people manage their chronic pain, reduce reliance on opioids

Internet-based program can help people manage their chronic pain, reduce reliance on opioids

Washington State University researchers have found that people can manage chronic pain and reduce their reliance on opioids through an Internet-based program that teaches non-medical alternatives like increased physical activity, thinking more positively and dealing with emotions. [More]
Results from Phase 3 study evaluating safety and efficacy of Zalviso published in Anesthesiology

Results from Phase 3 study evaluating safety and efficacy of Zalviso published in Anesthesiology

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of acute and breakthrough pain, today announced that results from the IAP311 study have been published in Anesthesiology. [More]

Using multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions associated with opioid overdoses

A study conducted in the state of Washington and reported in The Journal of Pain showed that almost half of deaths attributed to prescription opioids were Medicaid recipients, and using multiple pharmacies to fill prescriptions is linked with opioid overdoses. [More]
1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term. [More]
Educational messages about naloxone's lifesaving benefits can bolster support for its use

Educational messages about naloxone's lifesaving benefits can bolster support for its use

While most Americans do not support policies designed to increase distribution of naloxone - a medication that reverses the effects of a drug overdose - certain types of educational messages about its lifesaving benefits may bolster support for its use, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. [More]

Egalet reports top-line results from Category 3 HAL study of Egalet-002

Egalet Corporation, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative pain treatments, today announced top-line results from a Category 3 human abuse liability (HAL) study of Egalet-002, an abuse-deterrent, extended-release, oral oxycodone product candidate in late-stage clinical development for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. [More]
Tris, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare sign agreement to market extended-release Robitussin for treatment of cough

Tris, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare sign agreement to market extended-release Robitussin for treatment of cough

Tris Pharma, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a license, supply, and distribution agreement with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. [More]

Egalet reports positive results from Category 3 abuse-deterrent intranasal HAL study

Egalet Corporation today announced positive results from a Category 3 intranasal human abuse liability (HAL) study of Egalet-001, an abuse-deterrent, extended-release, oral morphine formulation in late-stage clinical development for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. [More]

Adding tamper resistant properties to medications can help curb prescription drug abuse

Health Canada today published a Notice of Pre-Consultation in Canada Gazette, Part I, seeking stakeholder feedback on draft Tamper-Resistant Properties of Drugs Regulations. [More]
Opioid offers pain relief for Parkinson’s patients

Opioid offers pain relief for Parkinson’s patients

Prolonged-release combined oxycodone/naloxone may provide relief for patients with severe pain related to Parkinson’s disease, a double-blind randomised trial shows. [More]
Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines. [More]

US physicians with waivers increase potential access to effective medication-assisted treatment

American physicians with waivers allowing them to provide office-based medication-assisted buprenorphine treatment to patients addicted to opioids were able to increase potential access to effective medication-assisted treatment by 74 percent from 2002 to 2011, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]
Kaiser Permanente study identifies barriers to prescribing potentially life-saving medication

Kaiser Permanente study identifies barriers to prescribing potentially life-saving medication

A variety of factors including questions about risk and reluctance to offend patients limits clinician willingness to prescribe a potentially life-saving medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose, according to a Kaiser Permanente Colorado study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. [More]
Simple steps help accelerate recovery, reduce cost of care in people undergoing colorectal surgery

Simple steps help accelerate recovery, reduce cost of care in people undergoing colorectal surgery

Simple steps that include the consistent use of experienced medical teams for a single type of surgery, preemptive antibiotics before the procedure, less reliance on potent opioids during recovery and urging patients to get out of bed and move around sooner can not only prevent infections, blood clots and other serious complications in people undergoing colorectal operations, but can also accelerate recovery and reduce cost of care, according to results of an ongoing program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. [More]
Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, an Apple Tree Partners company, today reported positive topline results from the Phase 3 double-blind, double-dummy clinical study of Probuphine, the investigational subdermal implant containing buprenorphine HCl for the long-term maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. [More]
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