Opioids

Research Update

Does Extended-Release Naltrexone Worsen Psychiatric Symptoms?

Topics: Naltrexone | Opioids | Research Update

Review of: Latif Z et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2019;76(2):127–134 Extended-release (XR) naltrexone (Vivitrol) is an injectable version of naltrexone that lasts for 4 weeks and is FDA approved for opioid use disorder (OUD). Although effective, there is some concern that XR naltrexone may cause or worsen psychiatric symptoms because of its opioid blockade

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Expert Q&A

Perioperative Management of Patients on Buprenorphine Maintenance

Topics: Addiction | Addiction Treatment | Buprenorphine | Medical Comorbidities | Medication | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Pain | Pharmacology | Suboxone | Substance Use | Substance use disorders

CATR: Can you tell us about your background? Dr. Acampora: I used to work as a cardiac anesthesiologist. Later, my interest turned to addiction medicine, and I trained in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. I currently work in a pain clinic where I helped develop a strategy for managing buprenorphine in the perioperative period. CATR: Where does th

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Expert Q&A

Gabapentin Misuse and Diversion

Topics: Deprescribing | gabapentin | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Pain

CATR: Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your current work? Dr. Vickers-Smith: I am an epidemiologist, and my work has primarily been on gabapentin as an emerging drug of recreational and unhealthy use. This interest came about while I was working for Dr. Jennifer Havens on her cohort of about 500 individuals in central Appal

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Clinical Update

SAMHSA Relaxes Regulations on Methadone and Buprenorphine During COVID-19 Emergency

Topics: Buprenorphine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Methadone | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Outpatient | pandemic | Patient relationship

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has changed some prescribing rules to help minimize in-person contact while maintaining access to medications for opioid use disorder (OUD). Methadone Patients starting methadone continue to require an in-person medical evaluation at an opioid treatment program (OTP) prior to sta

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Clinical Update

Muscle Relaxants: Sedatives Often Under the Radar

Topics: Clinical practice | Deprescribing | Opioids | Pain | Pharmacology | polypharmacy | prescribing patterns | Risk Management

Muscle relaxants are a diverse group of medications with varying mechanisms of action (see Commonly Prescribed Muscle Relaxants table below). They are indicated for short-term treatment (2–3 weeks) of acute, painful muscle spasms, as well as some chronic neurologic conditions associated with spasticity. However, many patients with chronic pain are on

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Expert Q&A

Benzodiazepines: Old Medicines, New Concerns

Topics: Anxiety | Anxiety Disorder | Benzodiazepines | Deprescribing | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Overdose | prescribing patterns

CATR: To begin, tell us about the research and clinical work you do. Dr. Morford: I am an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine in the Program of Addiction Medicine. I trained as a general internist, and I see patients primarily at a large opioid treatment program and in an inpatient setting on an addiction consult service. I’m involved

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Expert Q&A

Treating Addiction in Patients Transitioning to/from Incarceration

Topics: Addiction | Addiction Treatment | Buprenorphine | Clinical practice | Incarceration | Methadone | Naltrexone | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Overdose | Prison | Substance use disorders

CATR: Could you tell us a bit about your background in working with people with addiction in the criminal justice system? Dr. Cropsey: I am a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I conduct research and provide clinical care to patients with addiction within the criminal justice

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News of Note

New Generic Versions of Naloxone

Topics: Addiction | Addiction Treatment | Clinical practice | Medication | Naloxone | News of Note | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Overdose | Pharmacology

Naloxone, a rescue medication effective for reversing opioid overdoses, will soon be available in two generic forms for layperson use. Naloxone nasal spray is the generic version of branded Narcan Nasal, which currently sells for $150 for two doses. The generic version will be much cheaper. Naloxone auto-injector is the generic version of Evzio au

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News of Note

Opioid Use Disorder: Is There an App for That?

Topics: Addiction | Addiction Treatment | Clinical practice | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | News of Note | Opioid epidemic | Opioid Use Disorder | Opioids | Technology

In December 2018, the FDA announced its approval of reSET-O, a new mobile medical app marketed by Pear Therapeutics to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). Mobile medical apps (MMAs) are a rapidly expanding class of smartphone apps intended to improve patient health and wellness. The FDA defines MMAs as software programs that run on smartphones and “trans

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Research Update

Is There a Case for Cannabis in the Treatment of Pain?

Topics: Cannabidiol | Cannabis | Marijuana | Opioids | Pain | Research | Research Update

Review of: Da Vita et al, JAMA Psychiatry 2018;75(11):1118-1127 Study Type: Meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials In the midst of the opioid epidemic, researchers are looking for new ways to treat chronic pain. Interestingly, states that have legalized medical marijuana have fewer opioid prescriptions but no clear reduction in mortality over

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Research Update

Switching from Buprenorphine to Extended-Release Naltrexone: Does it Work?

Topics: Buprenorphine | Naltrexone | Opioids | Research Update | Substance Use

Review of: Solli KK et al, Addiction 2018;113(10):1840-1849 Extended-release naltrexone (Vivitrol) has had some good data, yet getting patients on it remains a challenge, because an opioid-free period is required before starting it. Understandably, practitioners get nervous when patients stabilized on buprenorphine ask to be transitioned to extended-

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Research Update

Is Ketamine Just Another Opiate?

Topics: Antidepressants | Depression | Ketamine | Opioids | Research Update

Review of: Williams NR et al, Am J Psychiatry 2018;175:1–11 Type of study: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study Ketamine’s rapid antidepressant effects have now been demonstrated in over two dozen double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, but how it works is less clear. For many years, NMDA receptor antagonism was thought responsib

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Research Update

More Evidence of Lives Saved by Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

Topics: Opioids | Registered Articles | Research Update

REVIEW OF: Larochelle MR et al, Ann Intern Med 2018;169(3):137–145 We are in the middle of an opioid crisis in the US, with many lives lost daily to opioid-related deaths. Pharmacotherapy with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone represents an important tool for clinicians during this crisis. But just how good are these medications in saving liv

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