Patients receiving long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain sometimes demonstrate challenging and concerning behaviors, such as using more opioid medication than prescribed or concomitant alcohol or drug use. A new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, establishes expert consensus about treatment approaches that should be implemented when these behaviors arise.
A new study published in Annals of Botany has shown that plants react to anesthetics similarly to the way animals and humans do, suggesting plants are ideal objects for testing anesthetics actions in future.
Living in a household with a prescription opioid user may be associated with increased risk of prescription opioid use by other household members.
Research has shown that better communication around assisted dying is needed between clinician and patients diagnosed with Huntington's disease. This is the first study in the UK (where assisted dying is illegal) into the attitudes of people with the condition, which usually leads to dementia and inability to coordinate movement. Because it is inherited, people with a diagnosis will often have witnessed the suffering of a parent.
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests. The researchers based surgery-related pain prescriptions on how patients actually use medicines, and educated both surgical teams and patients on pain control, resulting in a 65 percent drop in prescribed doses with no change in patient pain scores.
The current opioid epidemic is destroying lives, families, and communities. Medication is widely considered to be the most effective treatment, but far too few people who could benefit are actually treated.
As the opioid crisis continues to escalate, the number of people who need treatment for their dependency on heroin or prescription pain killers far exceeds the capacity of available treatment programs. People seeking treatment can wait months or even years for spots in clinics or with certified doctors -- and while they wait, they risk becoming infected with HIV or hepatitis, as well as dying from an overdose.
In the US alone, more than 2 million people struggle with opioid use disorders. Opioids, often prescribed as pain medications, have now become the country's leading cause of drug overdose. But scientists are identifying ways to help combat the epidemic, which include getting people treatment faster, developing safer opioids, and helping patients choose appropriate treatment. A number of recent breakthroughs are being presented at the upcoming conference of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Opioid drugs are the most widely prescribed and effective type of pain medication. But they are highly addictive and have some unpleasant and potentially deadly side effects. Now a group of researchers, led by Dr. Laura Bohn at The Scripps Research Institute, may have found a way to make opioids safer by separating the drugs' pain relieving effects from their most dangerous side effect, respiratory suppression, which, in very severe cases, causes patients to stop breathing and to die.