Why a plan to lower prescription drug prices should not be piecemeal

Demand for prescription medications in the U.S. is at an all time high, given that 50% of adults have at least one chronic condition, and 25% have two or more. Sixty percent of the population, and 90% of Medicare beneficiaries have taken at least one prescription medication in the past month. Rising health care costs over time are leading to […]

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Cesarean section quality initiative cuts opioid use

(HealthDay)—The enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program, a quality improvement initiative that made changes to preoperative and postoperative processes, leads to reductions in opioid use without increased pain and with faster recovery, according to a study published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Monique Hedderson, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, and colleagues […]

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U.S. opioid prescription rate is 7 times that of Sweden

(HealthDay)—Amid an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction, Americans are still being overprescribed narcotic painkillers compared to many other countries, researchers report. A case in point is Sweden, where patients are less likely to be prescribed opioids after surgery than American patients. In fact, in the United States and Canada combined, surgical patients are seven times more likely to get opioids […]

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Taking opioids for chronic pain: here’s what the experts recommend

Chronic pain—acute pain that lasts for longer than three months—affects around one in five people in Europe. The increase in use of strong morphine-type drugs (opioids) for the treatment of chronic pain is an area of much concern, particularly in North America. Termed an “opioid epidemic,” most developed countries have seen a major increase in opioid prescribing over the last […]

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Opioid addiction treatment used more in states that expanded Medicaid

(HealthDay)—The use of the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine is much higher in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act than in those that did not expand the program, according to a new report from the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group. The authors of the report noted that the five states with the highest prescribing rates for buprenorphine—Vermont, […]

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Ketamine may not be an actual antidepressant, but may decrease the burden of symptoms

A new study indicates that the antidepressant effects of ketamine may not be such, according to a paper published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. The study investigates the hypothesis that depressed individual receiving ketamine infusions, associate feelings of lightness and floating which are a typical occurrence in the use of psychoactive-substance, with an antidepressant state. In a systematic YouTube search of […]

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Prescription drug misuse common in high schoolers

(HealthDay)—Misuse of prescription drugs is common among high school students, and those misusing prescription drugs frequently obtain them from multiple sources, according to two studies published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Ty S. Schepis, Ph.D., from Texas State University in San Marcos, used data from the 2009 to 2014 […]

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Ketamine isn’t an opioid and treats depression in a unique way

Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it isn’t one, Johns Hopkins experts say. They believe this reputation may hamper patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don’t respond to typical antidepressants. In a new paper, the researchers clarify the mechanism behind ketamine’s mechanism of action in hopes […]

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Scientists identify spasm in women with endometriosis-associated chronic pelvic pain

Pelvic pain associated with endometriosis often becomes chronic and can persist (or recur) following surgical and hormonal interventions. According to results published in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, treating pelvic floor muscle spasm with botulinum toxin may relieve pain and improve quality of life. The study was conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), […]

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