Navigation Links
Oxycontin, Other Opioid Painkillers Tied to Higher Health Risks
Date:12/13/2010

MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Two new studies suggest that Medicare patients who take opioid painkillers such as codeine, Vicodin or Oxycontin face higher health risks, including death, heart problems or fractures, compared to those taking non-opioid analgesics.

However, it's not clear if the painkillers are directly responsible for the differences in risk, experts said, and other factors could play a role. And one pain specialist who's familiar with the findings said they don't reflect the experiences of doctors who've prescribed the drugs.

In one study, researchers examined a database of Medicare recipients in two states who were prescribed one of five kinds of opiod painkillers from 1996-2005. They looked at almost 6,300 patients who took one of these five painkillers: codeine phosphate, hydrocodone bitartrate (best known in its Vicodin form), oxycodone hydrochloride (Oxycontin), propoxyphene hydrochloride (Darvon), and tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram).

Those who took codeine were 1.6 times more likely to have suffered from cardiovascular problems after 180 days, while patients on hydrocodone seemed to be at higher risk of fractures than those who took tramadol and propoxyphene.

After 30 days, those who took oxycodone were 2.4 times more likely to die than those taking hydrocodone, and codeine users were twice as likely to die, although the number of deaths was small.

The study authors caution that their findings are surprising in some ways and need to be confirmed by further research.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Russell K. Portenoy, chairman of the department of pain medicine and palliative care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, said that the findings are of limited value because many other factors could explain the differences between the drugs, such as how fast physicians ramped up the doses of patients.

"I would suggest that readers note this as an observation and wait for the next set of studies to try to figure out if there's any reality in there in terms of risk," he said.

A second study published in the same issue of the journal compared opioid painkillers against non-opioid analgesics, and found that patient "adverse events" were more likely when an opioid was taken.

A team led by Dr. Damiel H. Solomon of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, compared the safety of opioids against non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, which include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen) and "coxib" drugs such as Celebrex (celecoxib). They tracked outcomes for almost 13,000 Medicare recipients who took such pain relievers between 1999 and 2005.

The Boston team found that patients on opioids had higher rates of adverse events generally than did people taking an NSAID or a coxib drug. For example, 101 of every 1,000 prescription opioid users suffered a fracture in a given year versus 19 of every 1,000 people taking another type of painkiller. Coxibs and opioids were also associated with a higher risk for cardiac events compared to NSAID use, the team found.

What to do if you're taking an opioid? "There's no question that opioid drugs carry important risks," Portenoy said. "If you have chronic pain, your doctor should optimize the dosing and be managing the risk: not only the risk of side effects and toxicities but also the risk of things like drug abuse."

More information

There's more on painkillers at the U.S. National Library of Medicine .

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Russell K. Portenoy, M.D., chairman, department of pain medicine and palliative care, Beth Israel Medical Center; New York City; Dec. 13/27, 2010, Archives of Internal Medicine;


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New York Truck Driver Watching Porn Kills Mother, Appalls Personal Injury Lawyers Such As David Perecman
2. California IVF Discount/Rebate Program Eases Risk for Older Mothers
3. MyDietShopz.com Announces Biggest Losers Contest - Share Your Story To Inspire Others
4. Six Other E. colis Could Be Lurking In Your Valentine Days Dinner
5. Virtual reality and other technologies offer hope
6. Another Study Refutes Vaccination-Autism Link
7. Most Americans Think Its Others Who Are Unhealthy
8. Transitions Championship Announces Strongest Field to Date and a Vision Like No Other on the PGA TOUR(R)
9. 29 Clear Channel stations Nationwide Raise Nearly $2.8 Million to Help Save the Lives of Kids Fighting Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases
10. Split-course palliative radiotherapy confirmed as effective treatment for advanced NSCLC
11. “Hearts and Minds” Education Program Launched: On Average, People with Mental illness Live 25 Years Less than Other Americans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Oxycontin, Other Opioid Painkillers Tied to Higher Health Risks
(Date:6/27/2016)... Dublin, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... Community College District , the only authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered ... illness by protecting their workers from extreme heat at their worksites. Employers ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX ... fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of ... unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, ... ... in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership with Connance, ... system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine to provide ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people ... how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... 26, 2016 One of Australia,s ... formation of a new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 ... IPO and to list on the ASX. Noxopharm is ... to enter a Phase 1 clinical study later this year. ... one of the biggest problems facing cancer patients - the ability ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired ... Time). As previously announced on May 31, ... merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ... will take whatever measures required to build a strong ... which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current ... Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in ... understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: