MONDAY, Aug. 14, 2017 -- Marijuana may be slightly effective at reducing chronic nerve pain known as neuropathy. But there's little evidence on whether or not pot helps treat other types of pain or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a pair of new studies suggests.
The findings on neuropathy "fit generally well with what we know," said Dr. Sachin Patel of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville. Patel wrote a commentary accompanying the review in the Aug. 15 online edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 -- Surgery patients are usually prescribed opioids to ease postoperative pain, but more than two-thirds end up with leftover narcotics and don't get rid of them, according to a new report.
Moreover, most patients who have the extra opioid pills don't lock them away, but leave them accessible to possible abuse by others, the researchers said.
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 -- Physicians might be relying too heavily on "off-label" use of epilepsy drugs as an alternative to prescribing narcotic painkillers, two experts in internal medicine contend.
Doctors are prescribing the anti-seizure drugs gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica) to treat pain more frequently, partly in response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, said Dr. Allan Brett. He's a professor of clinical internal medicine with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia.
TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 -- Sometimes less really is more. New research suggests that when it comes to long-term use of opioid painkillers, cutting back on the dose of the drugs might improve pain and function, as well as boost quality of life.
"As many as 10 million Americans use long-term opioid medications to manage chronic pain," said Dr. Joseph Frank. He's the lead author of the new study and a primary care physician at Denver's Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
MONDAY, June 26, 2017 -- Many people in pain are apprehensive about taking an opioid painkiller to ease their suffering, and rightfully so.
Widespread use of opioids for pain has led to an epidemic of addiction in the United States. Forty lives are lost to prescription drug overdose every day, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.