FDA orders new label on deadly painkillers

Here’s a frightening new warning on common painkillers…

It doesn’t matter if you’re 90 years old – or a 35-year-old tough guy who could lift a car over his head. Chronic muscle, joint, and bone pain can knock anyone for a loop.

Unfortunately, doctors have a field day when it comes to prescription doling out pain painkillers, especially in the US where the over prescription of these powerful drugs has led to an epidemic of overdoses.

I recently told you about the US Centre for Disease Control’s (CDC) response to the skyrocketing number of deaths from opioid doses, and how they’ve started cracking down on doctors prescribing painkillers too easily.

And now, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also taking a stand the overuse of these drugs.

The agency now mandating that certain immediate-release (IR) prescription opioid painkillers – like Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin – carry a label that warns doctors against the dangers of misuse.

In 2013, the FDA gave Extended Release/Long-Acting (ER/LA) products a new label that called for limited use and serious risks associated with the drugs, which are typically taken only once or twice a day.

But IR painkillers, on the other hand, are taken MULTIPLE times a day – every four to six hours – and sometimes folks aren’t getting the relief they need, so they’re taking even more than the recommended dose.

So the FDA is standing shoulder to team up with the CDC, advising that doctors only prescribe these drugs for the most severe pain or if the patient can’t tolerate other treatments.

Earlier this year, I told you about how 91 per cent of people who had overdosed on painkillers were able to get the same exact drugs again – from the same exact doctor that prescribed them in the first place!

It’s been recently reported that opioid abuse and overdoses accounts for 40 deaths a day – more deaths than by car crashes or from gun violence. The new warning label – which will remind doctors of the dangers of misuse, abuse, overdose, and death – is a start, but it’s not a quick fix.

If you’ve got chronic pain – which opioids don’t really relieve anyway – talk to a doctor skilled in alternative medicine about your options to manage pain. I’ve been using acupuncture in my own practice for years to help patients get relief from everything from arthritis to migraines, but that may not be enough on its own.

But instead of reaching for prescription pills that knock you out and put you in a fog, I recommend safe and natural inflammation fighters like curcumin. The combo of glucosamine and chondroitin has also shown to be equally as effective as pain pills commonly prescribed for arthritis – without the risk of dying from an overdose.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing
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Sources:

FDA Orders Warning Labels on Prescription Narcotic, nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157894.html

FDA announces enhanced warnings for immediate-release opioid pain medications related to risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death, fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm491739.htm

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