Frightening new warning on common pain pills
Pain doesn’t discriminate.
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 are equal opportunity, too, when it comes to doling out pain pills.
And since they’ve been showering patients with script after script for dangerous opioids, it’s practically led to an epidemic of overdoses.
I recently told you about the CDC’s response to the skyrocketing number of deaths from opioid doses, and how they've started cracking down on docs prescribing painkillers.
And now, the FDA is getting in on the action.
They’re now mandating that certain immediate-release (IR) prescription opioid painkillers – like Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin – wear 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 out 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 shoulder with the CDC, advising that docs only prescribe these meds for the most severe pain or if the patient can’t tolerate other treatments.
It doesn’t surprise me that my mainstream medical colleagues would need this type of heavy-hitting notice. Earlier this year, I told you about how 91 percent of folks who had overdosed on painkillers were able to get the same exact pills 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 help anyway – talk to a holistic doctor 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.