opioid painkillers

How many opioid painkillers do surgery patients need? New prescribing recommendations unveiled

How many prescription pain pills should a patient receive after breast cancer surgery? Or a hernia repair? Or a gallbladder removal? With the country facing an epidemic of opioid pain medication abuse, the answer should be simple: Just enough to ease patients’ immediate post-surgery pain. But surgical teams have lacked…

High Prescribing Rates Likely Factor in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Increase: Expert

High prescribing rates of opioid painkillers are likely a factor in the increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome, according to the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Nora Volkow wrote in this week’s British Medical Journal that between 2000 and 2009, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome among…

Federal Effort to Curb Painkiller Prescribing Faces Opposition

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) face stiff opposition to its effort to reduce prescribing of opioid painkillers, the Associated Press reports. Critics of new prescribing guidelines include drug manufacturers, industry-funded groups and some public health officials. The guidelines, which were originally scheduled to be released this month,…

Study: Use of Opioid Painkillers in Pregnancy Increases Risks to Baby

A new study finds a woman’s use of prescription opioids during pregnancy increases the risk her baby will be born small or early. Such use also raises the chance the baby will go through painful drug withdrawal, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, HealthDay reports. The study of more than 112,000 pregnant…