The Health News USA March 9 2018

  • Opioids were shown to have no significant advantage in treating chronic pain over non-opioid drugs in a year of patient observation, according to a study evaluating the effectiveness of often-prescribed medications at the forefront of the U.S. drug crisis. The participants were rated on a variety of measures of how the medications affected their pain and daily lives, including pain intensity, side effects and quality of life. Opioids included morphine, oxycodone and a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The non-opioid drugs included acetaminophen and brand-name paracetamol.
  • The Mississippi Senate moved one step closer Tuesday to passing a law that would prevent women from getting abortions after they are fifteen weeks pregnant. If the law passes, it would be the earliest abortion limit measured in weeks of pregnancy to become law in the US. The Senate passed a version of House Bill 1510, known as the gestational age act, with minor changes regarding the penalty to providers who break the law. In its current form, doctors would lose their license to practice medicine and face civil penalties.
  • According to the CDC, emergency visits for suspected opioid overdoses shot up thirty percent from the third quarter of 2016 to third quarter 2017. ER visits for opioid-related emergencies more than doubled in two states. Wisconsin saw the biggest increase, 109%, and Delaware saw a 105% increase. In Pennsylvania, ER visits were up 81%.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/7/non-opioid-pain-relief-outperforms-opioids-for-chr/

Opioids were shown to have no significant advantage in treating chronic pain over non-opioid drugs in a year of patient observation, according to a study evaluating the effectiveness of often-prescribed medications at the forefront of the U.S. drug crisis. Lead researcher Dr. Erin Krebs said in an interview with The Washington Times said: “The real gap here is that there were no previous studies that did any kind of long-term comparison between opioids and other types of medications for chronic pain.”
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The study, which was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed two hundred forty patients from Veterans Affairs primary health clinics who complained of chronic pain in the back, knee or hip or from osteoarthritis. Participants were randomly assigned to an opioid or non-opioid regimen and closely followed for a year. The participants were rated on a variety of measures of how the medications affected their pain and daily lives, including pain intensity, side effects and quality of life. Opioids included morphine, oxycodone and a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. The non-opioid drugs included acetaminophen and brand-name paracetamol. Overall, both groups did not significantly differ in pain-related function over the course of a year.

The ability to participate in daily activities improved equally for both groups. However, pain intensity over the course of a year was significantly better in the non-opioid group. On a scale of zero to ten, where higher scores equal worse function or pain intensity, opioid groups registered a pain severity of four point zero while the non-opioid group was at three point five.

The opioid group reported more adverse side effects, including lethargy, constipation and nausea, as well as more serious problems such as accidental overdose and addiction.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/06/health/mississippi-abortion-law/index.html

The Mississippi Senate moved one step closer Tuesday to passing a law that would prevent women from getting abortions after they are fifteen weeks pregnant. If the law passes, it would be the earliest abortion limit measured in weeks of pregnancy to become law in the US.

The Senate passed a version of House Bill one five one zero, known as the gestational age act, with minor changes regarding the penalty to providers who break the law. In its current form, doctors would lose their license to practice medicine and face civil penalties. The bill was sent back to the House for another vote, which is considered procedural. If this version passes the House vote, the bill would move to the governor’s desk. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.
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Mississippi currently prohibits an abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy unless “the woman’s life is endangered, her physical health is severely compromised or there is a lethal fetal anomaly,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. In all, twenty four states have laws that ban abortions after a designated duration of pregnancy. Seventeen states, including Mississippi, ban abortions at about twenty weeks post-fertilization, according to Guttmacher.

Planned Parenthood Director of State Policy Media, Danielle Wells, said she believes the law is unconstitutional. She cited a similar law in Arkansas that banned abortions at 12 weeks of pregnancy if a heartbeat was detected, which was struck down by a federal appeals court.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/03/06/er-visits-for-suspected-opioid-overdoses-shot-up-last-year-by-30-midwest-increased-70.html

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency visits for suspected opioid overdoses shot up thirty percent from the third quarter of two thousand sixteen to third quarter two thousand seventeen.  During a briefing of the latest Vital Signs report, CDC’s Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said overall the most dramatic increases were in the Midwest, where emergency visits went up seventy percent in all ages over twenty five.

ER visits for opioid-related emergencies more than doubled in two states. Wisconsin saw the biggest increase, one hundred nine percent, and Delaware saw a one hundred five percent increase. In Pennsylvania, ER visits were up eighty one percent.  
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There were some decreases reported in the East, with the largest being a fifteen percent reduction in Kentucky, which could reflect fluctuation in drug supplies or interventions.
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U.S. Surgeon General James Adams was also present during the briefing, and mentioned how he witnessed first-hand his own young brother’s struggle with opioid addiction.
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Doctor Adams outlined that a coordinated effort is necessary to prevent opioid addiction. He noted: “To successfully combat this epidemic, everyone must play a role.”  The Surgeon General explained how health departments, along with public safety and law enforcement officials, have to work together to deal with local opioid-related emergencies.  He stressed the need to make naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose, more accessible in emergency situations.

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