Hydromorph Contin Causing Heart Damage, Infections

Four years ago, the Ontario government decided to ban the use of Oxycontin, hoping to stop the pattern of increased opioid addiction in the province. Unfortunately, like every place banning Oxy, the medical profession needed another drug to take its place. Today, it appears that the drug most used is Hydromorph Contin. And now doctors say it’s causing deadly heart infections. What is Hydromorph Contin? Hydromorphone Contin is chemically similar to Oxycontin, but it’s meant to be harder to abuse, and it’s formulated mostly for people experiencing severe, acute pain such as those from accidents like car crashes or cancer. The drugs itself was designed to deter abuse and prevent injection by turning into a thick, gel-like substance when exposed to water. How Are People Getting Hurt? Unfortunately, if there is a will, there’s a way, especially when it comes to people with addiction finding new ways to use their drug of choice. Authorities say addicted persons looking to get their fix have discovered a dangerous workaround for Hydromorph…

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Oxycontin Patent Expiring in Canada. Now What?

In Canada, just like the United States, there is an addiction epidemic currently being fought by communities and the government. Lawsuits against drug makers are also underway. Purdue Pharma, the original manufacturer of Oxycontin, is largely blamed for the opioid epidemic. Their patent in Canada is expiring, leaving the market open to cheaper, generic versions of the drug. Why Allow More Opioids on the Market? Many people argue that there should be no more Oxycontin on the market period. The drug has caused devastation across North America. Purdue Pharma certainly pushed the drug deceptively. An opioid maker without such a checkered past would be a welcome relief to sales representatives and hospitals. But a generic version would also create more opportunities for misuse and abuse. Can a regulatory body police the actions of addictive drugs effectively? There are a lot of misgivings about the benefits of offering a generic version of Oxy. The truth of the matter is that there are thousands of people in hospital rooms that need…

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Blue Cross Stops Covering Oxy Jan. 1st, Offers Abuse-Deterrent Opioids

A few months ago, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, one of the nation's largest health insurers, announced that they would stop covering Oxycontin, a drug known for its addictive properties as well as its manipulation of doctors through marketing. The makers of Oxy, Perdue Pharma, have also stopped marketing the drugs to doctors, perhaps as a result of dozens of lawsuits stemming from the opioid addiction crisis here in the US. While many people hail this as a good sign, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage of pain relievers aren’t going to stop doctors from prescribing the medication in its generic form, or other variations of opioids in its place. A closer look at the changes that Blue Cross is making shows that the company isn't necessarily shunning opioids. They still plan to cover oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin. Instead, they plan on shifting coverage to new formulations designed to be harder to abuse. Two New Drugs Blue Cross is Covering RoxyBond is short-acting (SA) oxycodone formulation with what the FDA…

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Purdue Pharma “Fights Opioid Epidemic” – Too Little, Too Late?

Purdue Pharma is one of the largest opioid makers in the country and the subject of countless lawsuits in the past few years. They’ve received scrutiny over their choices to market and push Oxycontin on the doctors, and in February, they promised to stop actively marketing the drug. Now, this opioid maker is making efforts to help the people that are now addicted to their drugs. But is it just another PR campaign to mitigate the company’s bad reputation?   Critics say that all of this is “too little, too late.” Thousands have died from what even lawmakers say are irresponsible and maybe even illegal practices to push the drug. However, the dire consequences of opioid addiction make it so many localities can’t discriminate between funds. For many people addicted to opioids across the US, there simply isn’t enough help available. The federal government’s Opioid Commission is considered pretty much a “bust”, with lots of recommendations and few monetary resources to implement them. Many states are spending too much…

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New Oxy Guidelines For Kids Alarm Lawmakers, But Drs. Say They’re Needed

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision last August to officially approve use and set guidelines for the use of Oxycontin, for certain children as young as 11 has triggered a huge debate among lawmakers, health care professionals, and parents about whether or not the drug is appropriate for treating pain in people under the age of 18. The new guidelines do not “legalize” Oxycontin, per se – prescription opiates have been prescribed for years off-label – but this is the first time there have been recommended guidelines for doctors to prescribe the powerful drug to children suffering from certain conditions that cause chronic pain. Some elected officials, as well as candidates running for office including Hillary Clinton, have echoed sentiments of addiction specialists who say the new guidelines will encourage doctors to expand access to a drug at the center of an epidemic of opiate abuse in the U.S. that was responsible for over 24,000 overdose deaths in 2013. They say health care providers need to focus on alternative…

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OxyContin: The Crouching Tiger

The abuse of prescription drugs like OxyContin by the younger generation is a growing concern for society. The drug gives the user a sense of euphoria, replacing anxiety with sleepy relaxation -- a relaxed high if you will. One out of ten seniors in high school seniors have admitted to using narcotic painkillers to get high, and when it comes to OxyContin, the number seems to be increasing among the youth. The drug provides an experience that is attracting an increasing amount of users. It is looked at as a "party" drug instead of an extremely addictive substance. The public’s flawed belief in what an addict looks and acts like is thought to be a factor in the growing number OxyContin users and its acceptance among the younger population. One of the especially troubling things about this addiction is the ease of use for the addicts; the fact that the effects are not immediately noticeable. As a result, the young people who are using it don’t see the harmful…

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Newborn Opiate Addiction and Withdrawal

One of the saddest facts about prescription drug abuse is that a pregnant mother who abuses medicine will pass the effects to her unborn child. Unfortunately, it has become more and more common for newborn babies to be born addicted to prescription medications like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. The Los Angeles Times reports that in 2009, more than 13,500 infants were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS); this translates to approximately one such birth every hour. A recent New York Times article tells the story of one child that was only a few days old and had to be placed on methadone because his withdrawal symptoms were so severe. His mother abused OxyContin in the early stages of her pregnancy without her doctor's knowledge. She tried to quit while pregnant but became so ill that the survival of her unborn child was in doubt. Her doctor prescribed methadone for the duration of her pregnancy. After his birth, her son was placed on the same drug. Babies that are born…

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Purdue Pharmas Marketing and the Roots of the OxyContin Epidemic

In the late 1990s, Purdue Pharma's marketing campaign for OxyContin was the kick-off for the prescription drug industry's massive promotion of narcotic painkillers for the treatment of chronic pain. One of Purdue's marketing tools was a promotional video that showed how OxyContin had improved the lives of seven patients. The video was distributed directly to 15,000 doctors. Prior to the introduction of OxyContin, most doctors were reluctant to write prescriptions for narcotic drugs due to the risk of addiction and overdose. Despite Purdue Pharma's hard-sell, there was little medical evidence that these drugs could be used to effectively treat pain over the long term without leading to addiction for some patients. Purdue's campaign could be termed a success in terms of profits for drug-manufacturers, with sales of prescription painkillers increasing by 400 percent between 1999 and 2010. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales of OxyContin alone reached more than $2.8 billion in 2011. Other opioid medications like Percocet and Vicodin have also brought huge profits for their makers.…

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Canadian Coroner Offers Words of Warning about OxyNEO

A recent article from CBC News out of Canada caught our eye and we wanted to share. A coroner has made a statement to health care professionals in Canada warning them that OxyContin replacement drugs (like OxyNEO) are still very dangerous and increased caution should be used in prescribing them. His statement comes as a result of an opiate overdose and in his words: “Transitioning from one opiate to another does carry some risks, and this death … highlighted the case for heightened vigilance,” Wilson said. Users May Subconsciously Seek Higher Doses of OxyNEO Wilson wanted to highlight the dangers that are inherent in switching drugs.  Many users who are not happy with the sensation of OxyNEO (or another OxyContin replacement like OxyIR or fentanyl) might prescribing physicians to clarify any questionable increases in dosage. Dr. Wilson encourages  pharmacists to screen prescriptions for patterns indicating increased dosages and to contact prescribing physicians to clarify any change. Dr. Wilson has also requested other coroners to be on alert for similar deaths.…

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New Drugs Same Old Problem – OxyNEO Zohydro Oxecta Etc

There is a lot of controversy brewing about the new drugs that are coming to market. "Tamper Proof" OxyContin An example is "harder to abuse" drugs: like OxyNEO. The question is, how "hard to abuse" are they? There are critics who point out that the drug's manufacturer Purdue Pharma doesn't make that claim in official documents. Additionally “The terms ‘tamper-proof’ and ‘break-proof’ are not claims which have been approved by Health Canada,” admits Randy Steffan who is vice president of corporate affairs at Purdue Pharma. Pfizer has joined the "profit (off of addictive drugs) party" with its Oxecta drug, which is made from the highly addictive ingredient in OxyContin called oxycodone. It is purported to be difficult to "Pure" Hydrocodone (or Vicodin) In a move that baffles the sense of corporate responsibility, there are multiple drug manufacturers planning to release a form of Vicodin that is made up of pure hydrocodone (the addictive painkiller ingredient in Vicodin). Zohydro is one name for the drug, and there are multiple entities…

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