Fda Fights Drug Overdoses With New Labels For Prescription Painkillers

Official: Prescription drug abuse a problem; not enough doctors tracking

Many of those deaths are attributed to a family of painkillers known as opioids. In an effort to reduce abuse, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it “is invoking its authority to require safety labeling changes and post-market studies to combat the crisis of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death from these potent drugs that have harmed too many patients and devastated too many families and communities,” according to a press release. The label changes are meant for extended-release or long-acting opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone, among others. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters: “These drugs are at the heart of the abuse epidemic. But we must recognize the medical use they have.” Currently, the labels on the drugs say they are for “the relief of moderate to severe pain in patients requiring continuous, around-the-clock opioid treatment for an extended period of time.” To discourage over-use and misuse of the drugs, the new labels will say the drugs should be used only when “alternative treatment options are inadequate.” While the label changes are something physicians should be aware of, the FDA said it hopes this will result in a larger conversation about pain management between patients and doctors. The FDA expects to finalize the new labeling requirements by the end of this year.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/10/health/fda-painkiller-labels/index.html

Prescription medication abuse is Colorado’s fast-growing drug problem

Bill Holen is a commissioner in Arapahoe County.

According to a national survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of prescriptions filled for opiod pain relievers has increased dramatically from 1997 to 2007 by 402 percent. The study showed an increase in the disbursement of pain-killing drugs by retail pharmacies increased to 257 million prescriptions in 2009, from 174 million prescriptions issued in 2000. The sad legacy of these pain-killers is that nationally, more than 40,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2011. In fact, more people died of opioid overdoses than died in automobile accidents. In Colorado, the statistics are equally staggering. According to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics, since 2004 there has been a 164 percent increase in emergency room visits for overdoses of pain killing drugs. In 2010, Colorado reported 89 individuals died of drug-related deaths and drug-related suicides alone. During the last 10 years, Arapahoe County has seen an 86 percent increase in drug-related deaths, according to Dr.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion/2013/09/10/prescription-medication-abuse-is-colorados-fast-growing-drug-problem/41568/

Arizona program combating prescription drug abuse wins regional honor

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said a monitoring program fed by weekly updates from physicians and pharmacies guards against those who doctor-shop to get multiple prescriptions for narcotics or forge prescriptions.

But Maricopa County is still pretty far behind. The state pharmacy board is in a pilot program to educate people about prescription abuse and tracking prescription drugs. The program focuses on four counties, but that program isn’t happening here and it looks like that push won’t happen anytime soon. There are strict rules in place when it comes to narcotic drugs at Melrose Pharmacy. “We try not to take patients outside of five miles range,” said owner Teresa Stickler. She said even their wholesalers limit how much they can have on hand. “It’s a daily occurrence where there’s prescription drug abuse,” she said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.kpho.com/story/23420038/prescription-drug-abuse-a-problem

Prescription Weight Loss Drugs

weight loss medicines

Appetite suppressants can be obtained by a doctor’s prescription or bought over the counter . One common prescription appetite suppressant is phentermine . The FDA has also approved the appetite suppressant Belviq for long-term use in treating obesity. Side effects include dizziness, headache and tiredness. The drug Qsymia combines phentermine with the seizure /migraine drug topiramate . Topiramate causes weight loss in several ways, including increasing feelings of fullness, making foods taste less appealing, and increasing calorie burning. Qsymia is designed to be taken long-term.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/weight-loss-prescription-weight-loss-medicine

Jan Brewer called the award a testament to the good that can be done when state agencies, local governments and citizens work together. I am proud of the work Arizona has done to curb this silent but serious epidemic, she said. The staggering consequences of prescription drug misuse and abuse whether addiction, fatality, crime or rising health care costs are devastating to Arizona families and communities. The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and the Governors Office for Children, Youth and Families developed the program in partnership with agencies and groups including the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona State Board of Pharmacy and DrugFreeAZ. Phillip Stevenson, director of the Arizona Statistical Analysis Center, said the impetus for the initiative began between 2006-2008, when data suggested a rise in use of prescription drugs among those in junior high and high school. The program also is at work in Pinal, Graham and Greenlee counties, though to date the monitoring program has only operated in Yavapai. The overall goals include reducing the illicit use of prescription drugs, educating physicians and pharmacists about best practices, aiding law enforcement and raising awareness of the dangers among adults and children. According to Brewers office, the programs successes include collecting more than 5,000 pounds of unused prescription medication since June 2012.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2013/09/arizona-program-combating-prescription-drug-abuse-wins-regional-honor/


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