Obesity and the Risk of Incident Chronic Opioid Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis

 We evaluated whether the rate of incident chronic opioid use is higher in obese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Full story .
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UK Study Shows Opioid, Sedative and Antidepressant Use Pre-Surgery Leads to Worse Outcomes

A study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers showed that patients who already used opioids, sedatives or antidepressants prior to colorectal surgery experience significantly more complications p...
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Nerve Stimulation Helps Manage Pain Without Opioids

Researchers use a new technique that uses an injectable liquid polymer that cures – like household epoxy -- next to or around the target nerve. This device provides a localized stimulus that avoids the side effects of ot...
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NAM Opioid Action Collaborative Virtual Symposium to Discuss the Opioid Epidemic, Particularly in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

A May 21 National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic free virtual symposium will address combatting stigma against those with opioid use disorder, strengthening provider edu...
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How to Manage Chronic Pain, Opioid Addiction During COVID-19

A Rutgers emergency medicine expert discusses challenges faced by chronic pain sufferers and people recovering from addiction during this period of social distancing. 

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Researchers Identify Potential Pathway to Make Opioids Safer, More Effective

Findings from a study by UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson suggest heat shock protein 90 inhibitors could give doctors the opportunity to implement a dose-reduction strategy for patients. Less opioid drug could be pr...
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Improving Care of Chronic Pain Patients with Spinal Cord Stimulator Therapy Amidst the Opioid Epidemic

The US government and other key stakeholders including professional medical bodies have amended recommendations in recent years to emphasize using no opioids or the lowest effective dose of opioids needed for treatment o...
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Opioid Use to Treat Migraine Headaches in Hospitalized Children and Adolescents

Prescription of opioids to treat pediatric migraine is explicitly discouraged by treatment guidelines but persists in some clinical settings. We sought to describe rates of opioid administration in pediatric migraine hos...
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Hydromorphone Unit Dose Affects Intraoperative Dosing: An Observational Study

Although clinical factors related to intraoperative opioid administration have been described, there is little research evaluating whether administration is influenced by drug formulation and, specifically, the unit dose...
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Rating Pain—Not Just a Numbers Game

AAPM member John Markman, MD co-authored a new study in JAMA Network that found that this simple question "Is your pain tolerable" used in conjunction with the traditional 0-10 rating scale posed to patients, could help ...
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CDC Seeks Perspectives on Management of Acute and Chronic Pain

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking stakeholders' perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including, but not limited to, the benefits and harms of opioid use. CDC invites inpu...
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Prescribing an Overdose: A Chapter in the Opioid Epidemic

AAPM President-Elect W. Michael Hooten, MD co-authored a multi-institution research collaboration led by Mayo Clinic published in JAMA Network Open . The study showed that more than half of Americans starting the most hi...
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Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Postoperative Pain: A Systematic Review

The treatment of postoperative pain is an ongoing challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. Poorly controlled pain is associated with poorer patient outcomes, and the prescription of opioids may lead to prolonged, nonmedical u...
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AAPM Past President Steven Stanos, DO, Discusses Individualized Pain Care

Dr. Steven Stanos sat down with fellow members of the AMA Opioid Task Force to discuss why individualized care for patients with pain is so important during this ReachMD podcast episode.  

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Yale Clinicians Pilot New Technique to Reduce Opioid Risk in Pain Treatment

By overlapping buprenorphine therapy — a well-established treatment for opioid use disorder — with opioid therapy, researchers found they could successfully phase out use of oxycodone and morphine, highly addictive drugs...
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ASA, AAOS Launch Toolkit to Help Physicians Safely, Effectively Alleviate Patients’ Postoperative Pain with Reduced Opioid Use

The toolkit provides physicians and patients with resources to encourage communication and decision-making to help reduce patients' postoperative pain as much and as safely as possible.

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IL-4 Induces M2 Macrophages to Produce Sustained Analgesia Via Opioids

IL-4 is a pleiotropic antiinflammatory cytokine, which can be neuroprotective after nervous system injury. The beneficial actions of IL-4 are thought to result from the blunting of action of inflammatory mediators, such ...
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Association of Opioid Use with Pain and Satisfaction After Dental Extraction

Dentists commonly prescribe opioids to relieve pain after tooth extraction. Understanding the differences in patient-reported outcomes between opioid users and nonusers could encourage the adoption of more conservative a...
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AAPM Member Discusses Challenges of Treating Chronic Pain Patients Amidst Opioid Crisis

"We're de-prescribing without having sufficient evidence on how to do this the right way, how to protect patients," says AAPM member, Beth Darnall, PhD , in a recent Guardian Australia interview. Full story .

Intermountain Healthcare First Health System in Utah to Offer Formal Opioid-Free Surgery Program for Patients Wanting Alternative Pain Control Options

The new program was tested for three months as part of a pilot project, in which physicians utilized non-addictive and less-addictive pain management alternatives for surgical patients looking for alternative pain contro...
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Associations Between Stopping Prescriptions for Opioids, Length of Opioid Treatment, and Overdose or Suicide Deaths in US Veterans: Observational Evaluation

The objective of this study is to examine the associations between stopping treatment with opioids, length of treatment, and death from overdose or suicide in the Veterans Health Administration.  Read the abstract ....
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3D Printed Opioid Medicines with Alcohol-Resistant and Abuse-Deterrent Properties

In the past decade, prescriptions for opioid medicines have been exponentially increasing, instigating opioid abuse as a global health crisis associated with high morbidity and mortality. Read the abstract . 
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Hormone Linked to Pain Difference Between Men and Women

Researchers identified a mechanism that explains why women may be more vulnerable than men to develop pain in general, as well as to develop pain from opioids specifically. The cause is a neurohormone, prolactin, known l...
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Psychologist Uses Computer-Simulated Patients to Untangle Sociological Influences in Pain Care

In a recent study published in the journal Pain , researchers found that white physicians who self-scored higher on "intergroup anxiety" -- discomfort during interactions with groups who share fewer similar characteristi...
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Surgeons in a Large Health-Care System Cut Opioid Prescriptions of Five or More Days by 64 Percent Using a New Multipronged Program

Physician education, monitoring, and incentives lead to a shift from longer-term to shorter-term prescriptions for surgical patients, according to new Journal of the American College of Surgeons study. Full story .
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Pilot Testing an Intervention to Facilitate Tapering in Primary Care

This study proposes to pilot test an intervention to facilitate opioid pain reliever (OPR) tapering in primary care. The intervention will incorporate a clinician embedded within primary care to follow tapering dose sche...
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Virtual Reality for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain

Chronic low back pain is highly prevalent in US adults and is a major cause of missed work days and disability. While several treatment options exist, chronic opioids are commonly used for these conditions even though there are limited data supporting efficacy, and clear evidence of harm associated with chronic opioid administration. 

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University of Iowa Professor’s Opioid Research Evaluates Link Between Opioid Use and Chronic Pain

AAPM member and University of Iowa researcher, Barbara St. Marie PhD, RN , recently conducted NIDA-funded research on opioid misuse and substance abuse disorders to help clinicians treat patients for chronic pain. St. Ma...
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U.S. Surgeon General to Deliver AAPM 2020 Keynote

The American Academy of Pain Medicine Program Committee is excited to announce that U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD MPH , will deliver a keynote address about the importance of pain management in co...
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A Systematic Review of the Evidence for the Efficacy of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

The ageing global population and concomitant increase in the use of opioid analgesia have highlighted the need to evaluate the effectiveness of opioids for chronic pain in older people.

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Preemptive Pain Management Program Is Associated with Reduction of Opioid Prescriptions After Benign Minimally Invasive Foregut Surgery

The opioid crisis is partly due to opioids prescribed after elective surgery. This study sought to determine if a preemptive pain-management program would be associated with opioid-free discharge after benign foregut surgery.

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Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Could Offer More Effective Pain Relief Than Opioids

Findings from a recent study published in Nature Nanotechnology , showed that the nanoparticles were actually more effective than opioids in models of acute pain, chronic inflammatory pain, and neuropathic pain. Full sto...
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Physician Office Visits at Which Benzodiazepines Were Prescribed: Findings From 2014–2016 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

The newly published report describes characteristics of visits to office-based physicians at which benzodiazepines were prescribed, including visits where opioids were coprescribed.

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Erector Spinae Plane Blocks (ESP) for Postoperative Pain in Lumbo-Sacral Spine Surgery

The goal of this study is to evaluate the analgesic efficacy of bilateral erector spinae plane (ESP) blocks after lumbar and lumbo-sacral spine surgery by assessing postoperative pain scores and opiate requirements as the primary outcome measures.

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Research Calls for New Measures to Treat Mental Illness and Opioid Use

Opioid use among psychiatric hospital patients needs to be addressed through an integrated approach to managing mental illness, pain and substance use, a study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has found. 

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University of Maryland Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research Symposium

AAPM member Beth Hogans, MD PhD, served as a panelist on the University of Maryland Center to Advance Chronic Pain Research annual symposium, "Managing Chronic Pain Among Patients with Serious Illness During a National Opioid Crisis." 

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Chronic Opioid Pretreatment Potentiates the Sensitization of Fear Learning by Trauma

Despite the large comorbidity between PTSD and opioid use disorders, as well as the common treatment of physical injuries resulting from trauma with opioids, the ability of opioid treatments to subsequently modify PTSD-related behavior has not been well studied.  

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Frequency of Cannabis and Illicit Opioid Use Among People Who Use Drugs and Report Chronic Pain: A Longitudinal Analysis

Ecological research suggests that increased access to cannabis may facilitate reductions in opioid use and harms, and medical cannabis patients describe the substitution of opioids with cannabis for pain management. Howe...
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Trends in Gabapentin and Baclofen Exposures Reported to U.S. Poison Centers

Prescriptions for nonopioid pharmacological therapies such as gabapentin and baclofen have been increasing. While gabapentin and baclofen are less likely than opioids to result in fatal overdose, they are each associated with dependence, misuse and adverse effects.

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A New Link Between Migraines, Opioid Overuse May Be Key to Treating Pain

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and colleagues discovered that a peptide — small chains of amino acids that can regulate many behaviors and brain signaling pathways — links together migraine pain and...
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Fighting Opioids with an Unlikely Supplemental Painkiller: Anti-Itch Medicine

  A West Virginia University researcher is investigating whether an anti-itch medication that targets a specific part of our nerve cells can make morphine—which targets a different part—more effective.

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Selective Modulation of Tonic Aversive Qualities of Neuropathic Pain by Morphine in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Requires Endogenous Opioid Signaling in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

The amygdala is a key subcortical region thought to contribute to emotional components of pain. As opioid receptors are found in both the central (CeA) and basolateral (BLA) nuclei of the amygdala, we investigated the ef...
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Trends and Rapidity of Dose Tapering Among Patients Prescribed Long-Term Opioid Therapy, 2008-2017

How often are patients who are prescribed long-term opioids undergoing tapering of their daily doses, and how often do patients undergo a rapid taper rate? Read the abstract.
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DEA Announces Additional Regulatory Steps to Address Opioid Epidemic

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced proposed regulations to improve DEA's ability to oversee the production of dangerous drugs at the height of the national opioid crisis. This proposed regulation would further...
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Innovative Addiction Treatments Hold Promise for Stemming the Opioid Crisis

In a report published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest , scientists in health behavior, neuroscience, pain management, and addiction describe advances in brain science that can explain an individual's vuln...
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Anxiety Among Patient Factors Linked to More Opioid Use After Surgery

New research from Michigan Medicine could help clinicians identify which patients are more likely to continue to use opioids after surgery recovery.

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Trump Administration Announces $1.8 Billion in Funding to States to Continue Combating Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced more than $1.8 billion in funding to states to continue the Trump administration's efforts to combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to treatment and supporting near real-time data on the drug overdose crisis.

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Mortality After Discontinuation of Primary Care–Based Chronic Opioid Therapy for Pain: A Retrospective Cohort Study

 Despite known risks of using chronic opioid therapy (COT) for pain, the risks of discontinuation of COT are largely uncharacterized. The objective of this study was to evaluate mortality, prescription opioid use, and primary care utilization of patients discontinued from COT, compared with patients maintained on opioids.

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6 Key Steps that States Should Take Now to End the Opioid Epidemic

The AMA has released a national policy road map based on in-depth analysis of the response to the opioid epidemic by four states: Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The report , " National Roadmap on...
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Mixing Marijuana with Opioids May Not Be Good for Mental Health

AAPM Secretary W. Michael Hooten, MD comments on a new study on opioid and cannabis co-use, pointing out that the study shows us "that individuals with chronic pain who use opioids and cannabis concurrently are more likely to have mental health problems and other substance use issues, and that is very important." Dr. Hooten was not an author in the study.

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