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.
A new study of Indiana health professionals suggests some are beginning to change their prescribing and dispensing practices in response to prescription drug abuse in their communities, Forbes reports. Researchers found dentists are much less likely than other health professionals to be concerned about prescription drug abuse.
U.S. Representative Hal Rogers, writes, “It’s incomprehensible that one in five students are living homeless in some of our communities. While there are a number of factors to consider when trying muster up a reason as to how this could happen, one that routinely stands out, is the high rate of addiction.”
Officials from state and local health departments around the country are urging the Food and Drug Administration to add “black box” warnings to opioid painkillers and sedatives known as benzodiazepines, to alert people that taking them together increases the risk of fatal overdoses.
The National Governors Associations this weekend announced treatment guidelines are needed to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to The New York Times. The group said it will devise protocols aimed at reducing the use of the painkillers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has created a documentary that illustrates the toll of opiate addiction, The Kansas City Star reports. The film, called “Chasing the Dragon,” will be distributed to school districts nationwide and can be downloaded for free. High school students are a principal target audience of the film.
Walgreens announced this week it will install kiosks in more than 500 stores by the end of the year to allow customers to safely dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs. The pharmacy chain will also make the opioid overdose antidote naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it will reassess its approach to opioid medications, in an effort to reverse the epidemic of abuse. The plan comes in response to pressure from Congress, The New York Times reports.
A White House official said an ad intended to raise awareness of opioid-induced constipation, which aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, could help fuel the opioid addiction crisis, according to USA Today.
Systematic efforts may help lower the level of opioids that patients use, a new study concludes. These steps include educating prescribers and limiting doses for patients prescribed chronic opioid therapy.