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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.
Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Month-long residential program helps young adults stay drug-free

Residential treatment may be an appropriate first-line option for young adults who are dependent on opioid drugs - including prescription painkillers and heroin - and may result in higher levels of abstinence than does the outpatient treatment that is currently the standard of care. [More]
Opioid abuse in pregnant women increases 127% in 14 years

Opioid abuse in pregnant women increases 127% in 14 years

The number of pregnant women who abuse or are dependent on opioids (narcotics) jumped 127 percent in 14 years, leading to an increased risk of maternal death and stillbirth among other serious problems, according to a review of more than 57 million American women admitted for delivery. [More]
World-first transitional pain program aims to stop chronic pain following surgery

World-first transitional pain program aims to stop chronic pain following surgery

A world-first transitional pain program that aims to stop pain from becoming chronic after surgery is being pioneered at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. [More]
Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of (or over 135,971 visits to) nationwide emergency department (ED) visits in 2010, with the highest proportion of opioid overdoses occurring in the South. [More]
Linden Care announces new national contract under Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program

Linden Care announces new national contract under Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program

Linden Care LLC, a leading provider of comprehensive specialty pharmacy solutions to the pain management industry and a portfolio company of BelHealth Investment Partners, announced a new national contract under its Comprehensive Hub Solutions Program (the "Program"). [More]
New data shows EXPAREL provides effective pain control following total knee arthroplasty

New data shows EXPAREL provides effective pain control following total knee arthroplasty

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced results of an independent, physician-initiated study designed to evaluate the difference in postsurgical pain and opioid consumption between patients who received EXPAREL versus a multi-drug analgesic cocktail for pain management following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). [More]
BioElectronics to present innovative chronic pain therapy at OTC Pharma Asia Conference

BioElectronics to present innovative chronic pain therapy at OTC Pharma Asia Conference

BioElectronics Corporation, the maker of advanced consumer and healthcare medical devices announced today that its Executive Vice President, Dr. Deepak Kotak has been invited to present BioElectronics' innovative chronic pain therapy at the OTC Pharma Asia Conference, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Singapore. [More]
Socioeconomic disadvantages linked to drug-related mortality

Socioeconomic disadvantages linked to drug-related mortality

For the first time, researchers have found that problem drug users with less successful educational and employment careers are more likely to die of an overdose. Moreover, there is no link between parents' professional status and the likelihood that their problem drug-using child will die from an overdose. [More]
Sedasys announces launch of new sedation system in the U.S.

Sedasys announces launch of new sedation system in the U.S.

Sedasys, a Division of Ethicon US, LLC, announced today the U.S. launch of its SEDASYS System, a Computer-Assisted Personalized Sedation (CAPS) system that enables trained physician-led teams to administer minimal-to-moderate propofol sedation to healthy patients undergoing routine colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) procedures. [More]
Viewpoints: Relatively few face insurance cancellations; new doctor payment site is 'impenetrable'

Viewpoints: Relatively few face insurance cancellations; new doctor payment site is 'impenetrable'

People are starting to get letters telling them their health insurance plans have been canceled because of the Affordable Care Act. Because the letters will go out just before the midterm congressional elections, they are likely to get a lot of attention. There have been several stories this past week. But the people affected will represent only a small fraction of the population with health insurance (Margot Sanger-Katz, (10/6). [More]
RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

State policies can influence the number of physicians licensed to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug that can treat addiction to heroin and other opioids in outpatient settings, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]
Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

My colleagues Margot Sanger-Katz and Amanda Cox wrote recently that shopping around for the best price can be crucial for people renewing their coverage on the health insurance exchanges this fall. [More]
AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

According to a new position statement from the American Academy of Neurology, the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. [More]
Thirteen research projects to explore nondrug approaches to manage pain, other health conditions

Thirteen research projects to explore nondrug approaches to manage pain, other health conditions

Thirteen research projects totaling approximately $21.7 million over 5 years will explore nondrug approaches to managing pain and related health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug abuse, and sleep issues. The effort seeks to enhance options for the management of pain and associated problems in U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their families. [More]
Teens around the world frequently use OTC and prescription medications without doctor's order

Teens around the world frequently use OTC and prescription medications without doctor's order

Adolescents around the world are frequently using over-the-counter and prescription medications without a doctor's order, a risky practice that can lead to overuse and abuse and is often continued into adulthood, reveals a new review in the Journal of Adolescent Health. [More]

KemPharm to initiate clinical trials in Canada for lead product candidate KP201

KemPharm, Inc., a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of proprietary new molecular entity (NME) prodrugs, announced today that it received a No Objection Letter (NOL) from Health Canada to begin clinical trials in Canada for its lead product candidate KP201 (benzhydrocodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen) [More]
Catecholamine polymorphism influences opioid use

Catecholamine polymorphism influences opioid use

The catechol-O-methyltransferase rs4680 single nucleotide polymorphism could affect postoperative opioid consumption, study findings show. [More]
Adding common epilepsy drug to morphine can result in better pain control, say IU researchers

Adding common epilepsy drug to morphine can result in better pain control, say IU researchers

Adding a common epilepsy drug to a morphine regimen can result in better pain control with fewer side effects. Moreover, the combination can reduce the dosage of the opioid needed to be effective, according to a team of pain researchers at Indiana University. [More]
MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

MOVANTIK tablets get FDA approval for treatment of OIC in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

Nektar Therapeutics reported today that partner AstraZeneca today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MOVANTIK (naloxegol) tablets 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: High-dose prescribing increases by 23% in Canada

Study: High-dose prescribing increases by 23% in Canada

High-dose opioid prescribing increased by 23 per cent in Canada between 2006 and 2011, despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new research. [More]