Tagged Articles

opioid abuse 14 articles

Endo agrees to pull Opana ER off market

Endo Pharmaceuticals agreed to pull Opana ER, its abuse-deterrent , extended-release formulation of the powerful painkiller oxymorphone, off the market after urging by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop selling the drug because it not only aggravated the opioid epidemic, it also put abusers at risk of serious health problems. Endo obliged reluctantly, saying it “continues to believe in the safety, efficacy and favorable benefit-risk profile” of the drug. “Nevertheless, after careful consideration and consultation with the FDA following the FDA’s June 2017 withdrawal request, the company has decided to voluntarily remove Opana ER from the market.” The ... Read More

Anti-seizure drug abused alongside opioids

A rise in the recreational use of the anti-seizure drug gabapentin appears to fall in step with the opioid epidemic with many law enforcement agencies recording descriptions of gabapentin misuse in combination with opioids, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety. Gabapentin is used to treat seizures, but it is also used as a treatment for nerve pain. It is sold under the brand names Neurontin, Gralise and Horizant. Epidemiologic and case reports have pointed to an increase in recreational use of gabapentin, most often among people with a history of abuse. However, no studies have ... Read More

Longer opioid treatments lead to greater chance of abuse

About a quarter of people prescribed an opioid for 12 days – and nearly half given a month’s supply – will still be using the powerful painkiller a year later, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study emphasizes the strong addictive effect opioids have on people, and is a driving force behind the growing prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. Researchers reviewed prescription data for almost 1.3 million non-cancer patients who were prescribed opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin, from 2006 to 2015, and sorted out individuals who were first prescribed opioids ... Read More

Two WV counties hold drug companies accountable for prescription drug abuse epidemic

Two West Virginia counties with drug overdose rates well above the national average filed lawsuits against wholesale pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacies in federal court alleging they allowed millions of dangerous prescription drugs into the area, fueling the prescription drug epidemic. Kanawha and Cabell counties allege in separate lawsuits filed this month that companies such as Walgreens, CVS and McKesson sold 106 million doses of the powerful painkillers between 2007 and 2012 in both counties combined. Cabell has a population of 96,000, which translates to 400 pills per resident, the complaint states. Both lawsuits claim the companies’ actions are in violation of the ... Read More

Small town mayor sues OxyContin maker over costs of addiction

The mayor of a small town north of Seattle, Washington, is taking the fight against prescription drug abuse to a new level. Mayor Ray Stephanson is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin, alleging the drugmaker knew its opioid was being sold on the black market in his town of Everett. Since Purdue allowed this illegal activity to continue, the drug company should pay for damages, he alleges. Stephanson says his working class community of 108,000 people has seen a spike in drug-related deaths and street crimes. As a result, Everett has had to step up police ... Read More

Pain specialists issue updated guidelines for opioid use in patients with chronic, non-cancer pain

The American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP), a not-for-profit organization representing nearly 4,500 interventional pain management specialists, has issued updated guidelines for managing patients with chronic, non-cancer pain in an effort to help curb the growing prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. Powerful opioid painkillers are the most abused and misused prescription drug in the country. The guidelines, published in the journal Pain Physician, were drafted by experts representing a variety of medical fields in an effort to “provide a systematic and standardized approach to this complex and difficult arena of practice, while recognizing that every clinical situation is ... Read More

Surgeon general’s report tackles addiction, opioid abuse

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a report aimed at tackling the growing problem of addiction and the misuse and abuse of chemical substances, hoping it has the same impact as the 1964 surgeon general’s report that marked the change in the way Americans viewed smoking. The report puts into practical terms the extent of addiction in the U.S. with comparisons – more people use prescription opioids than use tobacco products; more people have a substance abuse disorder than cancer; a fifth of Americans binge drink. Substance use and abuse affects an estimated 20.8 million Americans – roughly the ... Read More

DEA classifies powerful opioid U-47700 as Schedule I drug

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified the synthetic opioid drug U-47700 as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a designation for substances that have a potential for dependence or abuse such as LSD, heroin and morphine. U-47700, also known as pinky or pink, is an opioid analgesic drug that was developed by Upjohn in the 1970s, but has never been studied in humans. It is currently being made by chemical companies in China. It is about 7.5 times more potent than morphine. The drug has been found in powder form as well as pressed into pills as counterfeit tablets ... Read More

DEA: Production of most opioids to be cut by one-quarter in 2017

The manufacturing of almost every schedule II opiate and opioid medication will be reduced by at least 25 percent in 2017, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Final Order published in the Federal Register. Some medications will be reduced even more, such as hydrocodone, which will be produced at 66 percent of last year’s level. The action is one more effort by the federal government to cut down on the growing problem of abuse of powerful opioid painkillers, which are the most abused and misused prescription medications on the market. The Aggregate Production Quota (APQ) system was put in place ... Read More

Investigation finds Alabama ranks No. 1 in prescription opioid use

More addictive opioids are prescribed by Alabama doctors than in any other state, and drug companies are fanning the flames hiring 1,800 lobbyists and spending $880 million on campaign contributions since 2006 to push policies to protect profits, according to a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity. Comparatively, citizens groups fighting the war on prescription drug abuse spend about $4 million. Opioids – a drug class that includes heroin, morphine and Oxycontin – are the most abused prescription drugs in the country. Some states and municipalities have taken opioid manufacturers to court, accusing them of ... Read More