New CDC Guidance on Prescribing Opioids for Pain

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated and expanded recommendations for prescribing opioids for adults with acute and chronic pain not related to cancer, sickle cell disease, or palliative/end-of-life care. The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline provides guidance on determining whether to initiate opioids for pain; selecting opioids and determining opioid … Read more

First Known Opiate Biomarker Shows Fentanyl’s Effect on Brain

Fentanyl depresses breathing about 4 minutes before symptoms of distress are evident at a dose that is 1700 times lower than that needed for sedation, new research shows. This new information comes after researchers identified a unique EEG signature produced by fentanyl, the first known biomarker of an opiate’s effect on the brain. By monitoring … Read more

They Call It ‘Tranq,’ and It’s Making Street Drugs More Dangerous

Approaching a van that distributes supplies for safer drug use in Greenfield, Massachusetts, a man named Kyle noticed an alert about xylazine. “Xylazine?” he asked, sounding out the unfamiliar word. “Tell me more.” Tapestry Health Systems nurse Katy Robbins hands bottles of water to Kyle as he visits the harm reduction mobile unit in Greenfield, … Read more

Cannabis on Par With Opioids for Pain Relief, Study Suggests

Cannabis-based products may control chronic pain as effectively as opioids, but adverse effects are common, and long-term safety remains unknown, according to a new study. Several other systematic reviews have recently evaluated cannabinoids for treating chronic pain, but the new study’s methodology was “distinct” in “important ways,” leading to “conclusions that differ from other reviews,” … Read more

FDA Denies Petition to Disqualify Researchers Over Controversial Ketamine Studies

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declined to take further action against a group of investigators at Hennepin County Medical Center/Hennepin Healthcare (HCMC), who conducted controversial studies involving ketamine and other sedatives in agitated persons without their consent. A citizen filed by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, had asked the FDA to … Read more

Can a Novel Med School Curriculum Curb the US Opioid Epidemic?

An opioid-centered curriculum for medical students improves awareness of pain management and treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and may help mitigate the current opioid crisis in the US, new research suggests. “Our study showed that implementing training for medical students about opioid use disorder and its treatment improves knowledge and understanding of clinical principles … Read more

No More Autopilot Opioids After Cesarean Delivery

A group of clinicians is hoping to prompt a rethink of how opioids are prescribed to new mothers after cesarean deliveries after finding that sending patients home with smaller prescriptions led to dramatic drops in use of the drugs. In research scheduled to be presented Saturday at the 2022 annual meeting of the American College … Read more

Juvenile Fibromyalgia Is Associated With Brain Changes

Juvenile fibromyalgia is associated with reduced volume in one region of the brain, according to a recent study. The findings were similar to those in patients with adult fibromyalgia, which suggest the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The study was published online January 25 in Arthritis and Rheumatology. Adolescent Brain Development Juvenile fibromyalgia is … Read more