prescription painkillers

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Scientists May Have Discovered Addiction-less Painkiller

PZM21 could potentially replace morphine and other opioids

(Newser) - The Los Angeles Times reports scientists are "tantalizingly close" to the perfect painkilling drug. Researchers announced the discovery of PZM21 in a study published Wednesday in Nature . In testing on mice, the chemical compound relieved nearly as much pain as morphine—87% to 92%—and lasted longer. At the... More »

Ex-Addict: I Got Prescription Opioids Way Too Easily

Doctors knew history, kept pills coming

(Newser) - Seth Mnookin is recovering from a three-year addiction to heroin, which he kicked in 1997. So when he went to Massachusetts General Hospital to be treated for kidney stones that left him in severe pain, he made sure to tell every medical professional he encountered about his history with addiction.... More »

FDA: Imodium Misuse Could Be Fatal

The diarrhea medication is used to get high and cope with opioid withdrawals

(Newser) - An increasing amount of Americans are taking the diarrhea medication Imodium to get high or cope with withdrawals from opioid painkillers. Now, the FDA is warning that the misuse of Imodium—generically known as loperamide—could cause serious, possibly fatal heart problems. Thanks to America's increasing addiction to opioids,... More »

Doctor Database Abused by Users Seeking Opioids

ProPublica admits problem with "Prescriber Checkup"

(Newser) - Looks like a freely available online database that reveals which doctors are prescribing what pills has partly backfired. Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief at ProPublica—which unveiled Prescriber Checkup in 2013—admits as much. "Thousands of the people ... viewed the 'reporting recipe' we wrote to help local journalists identify doctors... More »

Jamie Lee Curtis: I, Too, Was Addicted to Painkillers

She shares her story in response to Prince's death

(Newser) - It's time to do something about painkiller addiction, writes Jamie Lee Curtis in the Huffington Post , where she reveals that she was once addicted, like Prince reportedly was. "I too, waited anxiously for a prescription to be filled for the opiate I was secretly addicted to. I too,... More »

How Prince Could Have Kept Such a Secret

The 'New York Times' delves into his private addiction

(Newser) - Prince's final days are coming into sharper focus, and it now appears the singer had developed an addiction to pain pills so serious that he was set to meet with an addiction specialist when he died. The New York Times delves into the question of how Prince—who had... More »

Prince Had Painkillers on Him When He Died

The DEA is getting involved in the investigation

(Newser) - Officials say Prince had prescription painkillers on him—as well as elsewhere in his home—when he died last Thursday at the age of 57, CBS News reports. According to NBC News , the sheriff's department has asked for help from the DEA to figure out where the drugs came... More »

CDC to Doctors: Cool It With the Painkiller Prescriptions

New recommendations aim to curb opioid abuse

(Newser) - Prescription painkillers should not be a first-choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Amid an epidemic of addiction and abuse tied to these powerful opioids drugs, the Centers for Disease Control... More »

More Middle-Aged White People Are Dying

Princeton study analyzes shift in death demographics

(Newser) - The US death rate has been falling for decades, but researchers have detected one group in which the rates have been steadily ticking up—middle-aged white people. Suicides and deaths from drug overdose and alcohol abuse are being blamed. Deaths rates for other races have continued to fall, as they... More »

Addicts Find Ways Around 'Abuse-Deterrent' OxyContin

People find new ways to dissolve the pills—or turn to heroin, study says

(Newser) - When an "abuse-deterrent" version of OxyContin was introduced in 2010, the intent was clear: "to make OxyContin more difficult to solubilize or crush, thus discouraging abuse through injection and inhalation," the New England Journal of Medicine noted in 2012. Made with special binders, the revamped pills would... More »

In 2 Years, Heroin Deaths Double

Heroin-related deaths double over 28 states from 2010 to 2012: study

(Newser) - Heroin deaths are rising as deaths related to prescription painkiller overdoses decline, a report finds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heroin-related deaths doubled from 2010 to 2012, based on data from 28 states, HealthDay reports. Each state saw a boost in heroin-related deaths—and in the Northeast,... More »

In Rural Pennsylvania, Heroin Is Cheaper Than Beer

It's easier to get hold of, too, report warns

(Newser) - Heroin addiction isn't just an urban problem in Pennsylvania, where a small packet of the drug is cheaper and easier for young people in rural areas to obtain than a six-pack of beer, a new report warns. The Center for Rural Pennsylvania's report found that an "epidemic"... More »

Medical Marijuana May Cut Painkiller ODs

States with new laws see drop in opioid deaths

(Newser) - The solution to America's addiction to painkillers may be … more drugs? A new study found a drop in painkiller overdose deaths in 13 states that allowed medical marijuana, CNN reports. That's because a patient prescribed marijuana will either stop taking opioids or take less of them, researchers... More »

Combo Painkiller Designed to Be Tougher to Abuse

FDA approves opioid that won't cause euphoria when crushed

(Newser) - The FDA has approved a new form of OxyContin that unites two unlikely bedfellows in an attempt to curb abuse, reports AP . The drug from Purdue Pharma is called Targiniq ER, and it combines oxycodone—the main painkilling ingredient in OxyContin, one that causes feelings of euphoria—with naloxene, which... More »

Only 1 State Rejects Prescription Drug Database

'Welcome to Missouri—America's drugstore'

(Newser) - With prescription painkiller abuse, addiction, and overdoses a massive problem across the country, some 49 states have brought in databases to track excess prescriptions—and then there is Missouri. The state is the only holdout that has refused to create a monitoring program, even though law enforcement officials say the... More »

California Sues: Big Pharma Created Addicts With Lies

Lawsuit alleges slick marketing got people hooked on opioid painkillers

(Newser) - The makers of strong painkillers like OxyContin have created a "population of addicts" with a "campaign of deception" about the risks the drugs carry, two California counties charge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the whole state. Orange and Santa Clara counties are suing five large makers... More »

Alarming Find: Opioid Use During Pregnancy on Rise

Prescriptions for strong painkillers surge despite unknown risks

(Newser) - The risks of taking opioid painkillers during pregnancy aren't fully understood but that hasn't stopped doctors prescribing them for large numbers of pregnant women, an alarming new study in Obstetrics and Gynecology finds. Some 23% of Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women were prescribed opioids like codeine and hydrocodone in 2007,... More »

'Deadly' Painkiller's Maker Sues Over Prescription Ban

Massachusetts can't override FDA, drug firm says

(Newser) - Drug maker Zogenix is kicking back against attempts to ban a strong new painkiller that critics warn will kill people as soon as it is released . The firm has filed suit in Massachusetts in an attempt to block Gov. Deval Patrick's executive order banning doctors from prescribing Zohydro, reports... More »

FDA Wants Tougher Rules for Painkillers Like Vicodin

It recommends tighter restrictions for painkillers with hydrocodone

(Newser) - It will likely be tougher for people to get their hands on Vicodin and similar painkillers next year. The FDA today recommended tougher restrictions for drugs made with hydrocodone, reports Reuters . Assuming the guidelines are approved by the department of Health and Human Services, patients would get fewer refills, and... More »

World's Most Popular Drug: Pot

But painkillers behind most deaths

(Newser) - Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per... More »

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