FDA recommends tighter controls for prescription pain killers; its about time.

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FDA recommends tighter controls for prescription pain killers; its about time.

Prescription pain killers and their addictive side effects has been a problem of epidemic proportions because chronic pain is so misunderstood. The evidence that most chronic pain is due to mechanical problems of the body, yet the medical solutions are more about treat where it hurts rather than why and don’t forget to use something (pharmaceutical) to kill the pain. Those who have chronic pain are often labeled as having Fibromyalgia and unfortunately, most of those people believe it and find themselves taking Lyrica, instead of having their problems properly diagnosed and treated appropriately.

Because mechanical pain in the body has not been adequately addressed, the profession of pain management has grown and thrived, often leading people into more dangerous and addictive narcotics and risky medical procedures. While a recent NY times article does not directly call out the pain management profession, they are clearly part of the problem, rather than the solution.

Brian Rothbart DPM in his newest soon to be published book proposes the foot is a huge part of the problem. In our practice, we also look at the feet since body style (check out Rothbart’s foot) affects function, the fascial system and the symmetry of the body which inevitably is why chronic pain exists. We treat the mechanism (gait, body style, joints and the fascial system) rather than medicate because it is vastly more effective and much safer.

Maybe the FDA needs to go one step further and recommend chiropractic!

Check out the NY Times article here

Urging a Tighter Rein on Painkillers

By Published: October 24, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended tighter controls on how doctors prescribe the most commonly used narcotic painkillers, changes that are expected to take place as early as next year.

The move, which represents a major policy shift, follows a decade-long debate over whether the widely abused drugs, which contain the narcotic hydrocodone, should be controlled as tightly as more powerful painkillers like OxyContin.

The drugs at issue contain a combination of hydrocodone and an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or aspirin and are sold either as generics or under brand names like Vicodin or Lortab. Doctors use the medications to treat pain from injuries, arthritis, dental extractions and other problems.

The change would reduce the number of refills patients could get before going back to see their doctor. Patients would also be required to take a prescription to a pharmacy, rather than have a doctor call it in.

Prescription drugs account for about three-quarters of all drug overdose deaths in the United States, with the number of deaths from narcotic painkillers, or opioids, quadrupling since 1999, according to federal data. Drugs containing hydrocodone represent a huge share — about 70 percent — of all opioid prescriptions, and the looser rules governing them, some experts say, have contributed to their abuse.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said she expected the new regulations to go into effect in 2014. The recommendation requires the approval of the Department of Health and Human Services and adoption by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has long pushed for the measure.

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