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Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Misuse of prescription pain medications remains a major public health problem -- but programs to prevent it may be underused, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. [More]
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Temple University Hospital makes strides in confronting prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse has become a public health crisis in the U.S., and Temple University Hospital has made strides in confronting this critical situation. [More]
Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

Buprenorphine superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment for babies born in drug withdrawal

A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay. [More]
New computer-based modeling may help improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

New computer-based modeling may help improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

Computer-based modeling is helping to further reduce length of hospital stay and duration of treatment with opioids that are used therapeutically to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken. This condition is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). [More]
New treatment protocol can improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

New treatment protocol can improve outcomes for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome

A new protocol to treat babies born in withdrawal from drugs can be used widely to improve outcomes for these babies. The protocol reduces length of stay and the duration of treatment with opioids that are used therapeutically to wean babies off of drugs. [More]
New research could help reverse side effects of acetaminophen overdose

New research could help reverse side effects of acetaminophen overdose

New research could help reverse deadly side effects caused by excessive doses of the drug acetaminophen, the major ingredient in Tylenol and many other over-the-counter and prescription medicines. [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]
Researchers find that one in six Ontario adults reports a history of TBI

Researchers find that one in six Ontario adults reports a history of TBI

Nearly seventeen per cent of adults surveyed in Ontario said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight, according to new research. These same adults also reported more substance use, smoking and recent psychiatric distress. [More]
Once-a-day pill for patients experiencing opioid-induced constipation

Once-a-day pill for patients experiencing opioid-induced constipation

Opioids - strong morphine-based painkillers - are widely prescribed to patients experiencing chronic severe pain. While these drugs are very effective for treating and managing pain, they have one particularly bothersome side effect: constipation. [More]
State highlights: Texas immigrant surge brings health crisis

State highlights: Texas immigrant surge brings health crisis

Large stores in California need not keep automated external defibrillators for customers who suffer heart attacks, the California Supreme Court decided. In a unanimous ruling Monday, the state's highest court said California law requires only that fitness centers have such potentially life-saving devices and encourages most public buildings to keep them (Dolan, 6/23). [More]
Use of opioid linked to higher levels of dissatisfaction following spine surgery

Use of opioid linked to higher levels of dissatisfaction following spine surgery

A new study appearing in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) links the use of opioid pain relievers (prescription medications, such as Percocet) to less improvement and higher levels of dissatisfaction following spine surgery. [More]
Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

On October 1, 2014, all health plans, health data clearinghouses, and health care providers that transmit health information electronically must use a new, significantly broader, coding system, called ICD-10, for diagnoses and inpatient procedures. [More]
Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

George Washington University (GW) researchers report dramatic increases in prescriptions of opioid analgesics, such as Percocet, Vicodin, oxycodone and Dilaudid, during U.S. emergency department visits from 2001 to 2010. [More]
Storytelling can help doctors recall opioid guidelines

Storytelling can help doctors recall opioid guidelines

In the fight against a nationwide prescription opioid abuse epidemic, Penn Medicine researchers are using storytelling to help doctors recall important, potentially lifesaving national guidelines on how to prescribe these medications. [More]
Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]
Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

On Wednesday, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said the obvious: losing your job and choosing to work less aren't the same thing. [More]
MNK-795 for acute pain management: an interview with Dr Lynn Webster

MNK-795 for acute pain management: an interview with Dr Lynn Webster

MNK-795 is a product in development that is intended to be used for acute pain. It has some unique properties. First, it is an extended release formulation, meaning that it’s going to last more than three to four hours. It was studied to be dosed once every 12 hours, and that is unique for an acute pain formulation. [More]
Mallinckrodt to present MNK-795 clinical data at PAINWeek 2013

Mallinckrodt to present MNK-795 clinical data at PAINWeek 2013

Mallinckrodt announced today that the first clinical data on MNK-795 will be presented at PAINWeek 2013, to be held September 4-7 in Las Vegas. MNK-795 is an extended-release oral formulation of oxycodone and acetaminophen that has been studied in clinical trials for the management of moderate to severe acute pain where the use of an opioid analgesic is appropriate. [More]
State highlights: D.C. to use cash reserves to pay Medicaid providers off; Texas, Planned Parenthood reach overbilling settlement; Veteran health centers at colleges

State highlights: D.C. to use cash reserves to pay Medicaid providers off; Texas, Planned Parenthood reach overbilling settlement; Veteran health centers at colleges

How do you spend $48 million in unbudgeted taxpayer money without getting an OK from elected lawmakers? In the District of Columbia, there's pretty much only one way, and that's the way Mayor Vincent C. Gray is proposing to settle a high-stakes dispute with D.C. Chartered Health Plan. Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro confirmed Wednesday that the plan is to pay the District's share of the settlement -- a little over $35 million, with federal Medicaid dollars accounting for the rest -- out of the city's contingency cash reserve (DeBonis, 7/24). [More]
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