Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Sep 6, 2012

When it comes to your health and your life, always do your own research

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:09 am

Here’s another one on health. On 8/24, I read this report “Vital Signs: Risk for Overdose from Methadone Used for Pain Relief — United States, 1999–2010” by Leonard  J. Paulozzi, MD; Karin A. Mack, PhD; Christopher M. Jones, PharmD,  carried on Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. 2012; 61(26):493-497.

Here’s the highlight of the report.
“In 2010, methadone accounted for between 4.5% and 18.5% of the opioids distributed by state. Methadone was involved in 31.4% of OPR deaths in the 13 states. It accounted for 39.8% of single-drug OPR deaths. The overdose death rate for methadone was significantly greater than that for other OPR for multidrug and single-drug deaths.

Conclusions: Methadone remains a drug that contributes disproportionately to the excessive number of opioid pain reliever overdoses and associated medical and societal costs.

Implications for Public Health Practice: Health-care providers who choose to prescribe methadone should have substantial experience with its use and follow consensus guidelines for appropriate opioid prescribing. Providers should use methadone as an analgesic only for conditions where benefit outweighs risk to patients and society. Methadone and other extended-release opioids should not be used for mild pain, acute pain, “breakthrough” pain, or on an as-needed basis. For chronic noncancer pain, methadone should not be considered a drug of first choice by prescribers or insurers.”

Even though the guideline says methadone should not be used for mild pain, some physicians will still prescribe it. I shared with my children about this. The take-home message is some doctors tend to prescribe the more powerful medicines than necessary. This applies not just methadone but all medicines. Do your own research when you need to take any medicine. It is your life. It is too important to simply trust the so-called medical experts who very often have other agenda than your life.

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