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prescription 49 articles

Feds Dismantle Opioid Distribution Center and Southern Pill Mills

Federal prosecutors said they have taken down the operators of a health care fraud and opioid trafficking and distribution operation that stretched from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Rome, Italy and contributed to the deaths of about 700 people. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said indictments were unsealed Jan. 4 charging two Italian citizens and five American citizens for their roles in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) conspiracy and opioid drug trafficking conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone, oxymorphone, and morphine outside the scope of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purposes. The DOJ says that the defendants ran ... Read More

FDA approves new diet pill Contrave

A new prescription diet pill has been given clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing in the United States. Contrave, made by Orexigen Therapeutics, is a combination of bupropion, an antidepressant that is also used for smoking cessation, and naltrexone, a drug used to treat drug and alcohol dependence. Contrave is approved for overweight or obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, as well as people with a BMI of 27 or higher with at least one other health issue such as diabetes. Patients treated with Contrave lost an average of 4.2 ... Read More

DEA introduces new drug take-back program to combat prescription drug abuse

A new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule aims to combat a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and abuse by authorizing pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and others to serve as drop-off sites for unused prescription medications. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new regulation will help save lives and protect families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse. In 2011, unintentional prescription drug overdoses accounted for more than half of the 41,300 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Prescription opioids, which are increasingly prescribed for pain relief, are particularly addictive and likely to be abused. Opioid pain killer overdose caused ... Read More

New sleeping pill gets FDA approval, awaits DEA clearance

A new type of prescription sleep aid has won approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and if given clearance from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should be commercially available later this year. Belsomra, made by Merck & Co., works by temporarily blocking chemicals in the brain that control sleep cycle and keep people awake at night. The sleeping pill is designed to help people with insomnia to sleep through the night. Belsomra was approved based on trials that pitted the medication against a placebo. It was not tested against other sleep aids, however, so it is not known ... Read More

Acetaminophen as effective as placebo in treating lower back pain

The commonly used painkiller acetaminophen, the same drug in over-the-counter Tylenol, doesn’t relieve lower-back pain any better than a placebo, according to a new study published in the journal The Lancet. Medical guidelines recommend acetaminophen as a first-line treatment for acute lower back pain, however few studies have been conducted to show whether the treatment actually works. Researchers with the University of Sydney in Australia set out to put the painkiller to the test. For the study, researchers randomly assigned more than 1,600 people with sudden, or acute, lower-back pain into three groups. One group took acetaminophen tablets regularly three ... Read More

FDA panel votes against approval of Singulair Allergy for OTC use

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel is recommending that the agency not approve Merck’s Singulair Allergy drug for over-the-counter treatment for allergic rhinitis because of safety concerns. Singulair, which contains the active ingredient montelukast, was approved in 1998 for the treatment of asthma in both children and adults. In 2002 and 2005, the indication was expanded to include the treatment for seasonal allergic rhinitis and perennial allergic rhinitis, respectively. In 2007, it was approved for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Merck was seeking OTC approval of Singulair Allergy for the treatment of allergy symptoms only in adults 18 years and older, ... Read More

FDA panel split on heart risks with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committees were split on whether data from an analysis of multiple clinical trials showed an increased risk of cardiovascular events in people using common painkillers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The FDA’s Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee met jointly to review data and determine whether naproxen was less dangerous to the heart than other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and Celebrex, as the journal The Lancet suggested. Naproxen is sold as a prescription drug under the name Naprosyn and over-the-counter under the brand name Aleve. Ibuprofen is ... Read More

FDA warns of severe liver injury with commonly used painkiller acetaminophen

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging doctors to stop prescribing painkillers that contain more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule or other dosage unit because the drug can cause severe and potentially deadly liver injury. Acetaminophen is the same drug ingredient in the over-the-counter painkillers and fever reducers such as the brand name Tylenol. It is also often combined with other medicines such as cough and cold ingredients. Many consumers are often unaware that many drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter) contain acetaminophen, which can make it easier to accidentally take too much. The FDA says that ... Read More

More men getting testosterone treatment but may not need it

Many older American men start testosterone therapy without a real medical need, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Levels of the male hormone testosterone typically drop as men age, causing symptoms such as low sex drive, weight gain and a lack of energy. Many drug companies now offer testosterone replacement products, such as AndroGel, Testim, and Axiron. These drugs require a doctor’s prescription after blood tests confirm that testosterone levels are below average. Many men in the United States have been lured by drug companies’ marketing campaigns that tout the benefits of testosterone ... Read More

FDA approves magnetic device for treating migraines preceded by auras

A new, magnetic device has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve pain caused by migraine headaches proceeded by an aura. Migraines are a common type of headache that often occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head. Migraines can last anywhere between 4 to 72 hours if left untreated. About a third of migraine suffers experience warning symptoms, called an aura, before the actual headache begins. Auras produce strange symptoms such as dizziness, ringing in the ears, ... Read More