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CDC issues new guidelines on opiate prescribing to reduce abuse, overdoses

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~~~~MSNNews2

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned doctors Tuesday to use caution when prescribing drugs for chronic pain and to carefully monitor patients using the medications, as part of an effort to reduce addiction and overdoses.

The USA is in the grips of an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse, with 40 Americans a day dying from overdoses, according to the CDC. In 2013, an estimated 1.9 million people abused or were dependent on prescription opiates, drugs in the same class as morphine.

Nearly all of the prescription opiates on the market are as powerful as heroin, said CDC director Thomas Frieden. Yet prescription opiates often do a very poor job in controlling chronic pain. Some patients who are prescribed opiates actually experience more pain than others, Frieden said. For the vast majority of patients with chronic pain, the risks aren’t worth the benefits, he said.

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This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.

© Toby Talbot, AP This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
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Fatal Prescription: America’s Pain-Pill Epidemic

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~~~~EverydayHealth1
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More women than ever are dying from painkiller overdoses. How can you spot signs of drug abuse in a loved one?
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Americans’ abuse of prescription painkillers has reached epidemic proportions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers.

While men are more likely to die from painkiller abuse, the number of deaths among women was up 400 percent between 1999 and 2010. “More women are dying at rates that we have never seen before,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. “Stopping this epidemic in women — and men — is everyone’s business.”

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Outbreak Updates: SARS-Like Virus, Fungal Meningitis, and the Flu

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~~~~EverydayHealth1

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The CDC has issued updates on the SARS-like coronavirus that started in September; the fungal meningitis outbreak resulting from steroid injections; and the waning flu season.

Human transmission of the novel coronavirus may be possible, according to an update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the SARS-like coronavirus outbreak that started last September and has claimed 8 of the 14 people confirmed to have had it.

“Three of the confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection were identified in the United Kingdom as part of a cluster within one family,” according to the CDC.

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http://www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/outbreak-updates-sars-like-virus-fungal-meningitis-and-the-flu-4111.aspx?xid=aol_eh-flu_5_20130311_&aolcat=ESO&icid=maing-grid7|myaol|dl2|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D282349

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Deadly New Virus Warning Issued By CDC After Novel Coronavirus Causes 8 Deaths

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In a cautionary report on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of a deadly new virus that has sickened more than a dozen people and killed eight in the Arabian peninsula and the U.K. so far.

No cases of the new virus — a coronavirus that experts say had previously never been seen in humans — have been reported in the United States. Still, the CDC has advised anyone visiting countries in or near the Arabian peninsula, including Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to see a doctor if a fever or symptoms of a lower respiratory illness develop within 10 days of their travels.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/deadly-new-virus-warning-novel-coronavirus_n_2838240.html?icid=maing-grid7|myaol|dl2|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D281672

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Fungal Meningitis Outbreak: Pharmacy Linked To Outbreak Issues Voluntary Recall Of All Of Its Products

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ATLANTA — The pharmacy that distributed a steroid linked to an outbreak of fungal meningitis has issued a voluntary recall of all of its products, calling the move a precautionary measure.

The New England Compounding Center announced the recall Saturday. The company said in a news release that the move was taken out of an abundance of caution because of the risk of contamination. It says there is no indication that any other products have been contaminated.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/07/fungal-meningitis-outbreak-pharmacy-recall_n_1946843.html?icid=maing-grid7|myaol|dl1|sec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D216815

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