Drug management programs that require at-risk individuals to use designated pharmacies or physicians for opioid prescriptions can protect patients from using harmful amounts of opioids while ensuring they still receive appropriate amounts of pain medication, according to the lead author of a new report on the programs.
Opioid abuse could be costing U.S. employers up to $8 billion annually, according to a report by the benefits firm Castlight Health. Employees who abuse opioids cost employers almost twice as much in healthcare expenses on average, compared with workers who don’t abuse opioids, the report found.
State legislatures should require doctors to use state-run databases that track patients’ history of opioid and sedative prescriptions, according to a report by the advocacy group Shatterproof. Earlier this month, the White House sent letters to governors recommending they require doctors to check the databases before prescribing these drugs, the Associated Press reports.
A new study suggests many patients who are taking a high dose of opioid medication to treat chronic pain are willing to taper off their medication if they are given guidance in how to cope with pain without drugs.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it will require immediate-release opioid painkillers to carry a “black box” warning about the risk of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death, CNN reports.
A new study suggests that in some patients undergoing a total knee replacement, taking opioid painkillers before the operation may increase the risk of being on opioids much longer afterwards. The drugs may also increase the risk of complications after surgery, Medscape reports.
Doctors who write many more prescriptions than their peers for potentially addictive drugs, such as opioids or stimulants, are not likely to reduce the number they write after they receive a warning from the government, a new study finds.