Articles

Opioids: Prescribe with Care

In the past several years, opioid misuse and abuse has become an increasing problem in our society. Recently, the death of music icon, Prince, was attributed to an accidental overdose of Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate used to treat chronic pain. This problem is not limited to high-profile celebrities –– according to the Centers for… Read more »

Exercise and Acetaminophen: Tools for Your Patients’ Pain Treatment Toolbox

Despite all our good intentions to alleviate our patients’ chronic pain symptoms and improve their quality of life, there are many challenges in the way. We have limited time to interact with each individual, and frequently, insurance does not cover the ideal multidisciplinary approach. Adding to these obstacles is the significant increase in prescriptions medications… Read more »

Pain Medications: How Long is Too Long?

Revised by Kevin L. Zacharoff, MD December 2015 There are many different types of pain medications available to help healthcare providers treat patients with chronic pain. Depending on the specific medication, they can be obtained by prescription or are available over-the-counter (OTC). Pain medications provide an important component of most treatment plans intended to relieve… Read more »

Same Opioid, Same Patient Type, Same Response?

Empirical is typically defined1 as “originating in or based on observation or experience” (e.g., empirical data), “relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory” (e.g., an empirical basis for a theory), or “capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment” (e.g., empirical laws). It is quite common for… Read more »

The First Line of Tamper Resistance of Prescription Pain Medications is. . . You

One of the four definitions that the Merriam-Webster dictionary offers for tampering is “to render something harmful or dangerous by altering its structure or composition.” There is nothing in the definition about intention, such as intent to break the law, intent “to get high,” or other aberrant drug-related behaviors; just the fact that something that changes structure… Read more »

The Beers Criteria

Census data shows that the average number of people in the United States turning 65 each day is approximately 10,000. More people will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years, making this one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. It is reasonable to think that the number of people seeking medical attention for pain-related… Read more »

Effectively Communicating Medication Benefits and Risks – Are We Getting Better?

At a time of ever-ratcheting concern about the safety of our food and the appropriate, safe use of prescription drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved forward in the past with a number of initiatives to better protect public health. Among them are efforts that are likely to impact how pharmaceutical companies help… Read more »

A Systematic Approach to the Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Many clinicians may have reluctance to prescribe opioids for patients in pain outside of the most controlled of situations (i.e., when the patient is a hospital inpatient). This phenomenon is fairly well accepted by clinicians and patients, and is often the result of some combination of a variety of factors: – Clinicians who are not experts… Read more »

Opioid REMS Update 2013

When we last covered the topic of the FDA’s intended plans for curbing opioid risk, we felt confident that one thing was for sure – education would likely be a key ingredient of the ultimate implemented solution. As it turns out, our assumption was correct. As we mentioned in our opioid REMS update 2012, on Tuesday, April… Read more »

New Approaches to Combating Abuse of Opioids

Opioids play an important and omnipresent role in the treatment of moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. The fact of the matter is that in patients with acute pain, such as postoperative pain, opioids are utilized as the first-line treatment at least 98% of the time. Opioids are also recognized as the cornerstone of… Read more »