Monday September 23, 2019

Do you regularly take opioids and anti-depressants? This study says it may increase bone diseases

The researchers evaluated 11,049 rheumatoid arthritis patients, aged 40 and above, with no signs of osteoporotic fractures prior to the tests. After a median follow-up time of 5.7 years, the study found 863 patients affected with osteoporotic fractures.

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Anti-depressants may increase the risk of developing bone fractures, says a new study

New York, November 6, 2017 : Consuming opioids and anti-depressants may increase the risk of developing bone fractures among people who are already suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, says a new study.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and limitation in the motion and function of multiple joints and organs of the body.

Chronic inflammation and pain in arthritis patients further leads to several diseases like cardiovascular, mental and gastrointestinal disorders. People take multiple medications in such cases that sometimes influences the risk of osteoporotic fractures or a disease caused due to reduced bone density, the researchers noted.

ALSO READ Importance of Magnesium in Human body, Strenghtens bones

“Even at younger ages, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a two-fold increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures due to chronic inflammation and glucocorticoid use. More importantly, osteoporotic fractures significantly contribute to the disability, health-related costs and mortality with substantially higher complication in rheumatoid arthritis patients,” said Gulsen Ozen, researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre.

The researchers evaluated 11,049 rheumatoid arthritis patients, aged 40 and above, with no signs of osteoporotic fractures prior to the tests. After a median follow-up time of 5.7 years, the study found 863 patients affected with osteoporotic fractures.

The patients who developed fractures were significantly older and had higher disease risk and bone fracture risk at the baseline than those patients who did not experience fractures.

The results presented at the ACR/ARHP annual meeting 2017 in San Diego mentioned that the osteoporotic fracture risk increased within 30 days when the patients were given opioids. The associated medications also led to falls in certain cases.

“Knowing the risks associated with the use of these medications can guide rheumatologists and other physicians in choosing the most appropriate management strategies in patients, particularly the ones who have a high fracture or fall risk,” Ozen added. (IANS)

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Fatal Drug Overdoses Decline in US; First Drop in Two Decades

The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers

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FILE - A billboard advertising treatment for opioid addiction stands in Dickson, Tenn., June 7, 2017. VOA

Fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. declined by 5.1 percent in 2018, according to preliminary official data released Wednesday, the first drop in two decades. The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

“The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America’s united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, though he cautioned the epidemic would not be stopped overnight.

The total number of estimated deaths dropped to 68,557 in 2018 against 72,224 the year before, according to the figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But that number is still far higher than the 16,849 overdose deaths in 1999, a figure that rose every year until 2017, with a particularly sharp increase seen from 2014 to 2017.

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Laura Levine prepares to dispense drugs at Vocal NY, an organization that works with addicts, where she is the health educator and coordinator for the opioid reversal drug Narcan, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, March 15, 2019. VOA

Deaths attributed to natural and semisynthetic opioids, such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone, which are prescribed as painkillers, saw a drop from 14,926 to 12,757, or 14.5 percent.

That was the steepest drop for any category of drug, though deaths linked to synthetic opioids excluding methadone (drugs like tramadol and fentanyl) continued to rise sharply, while cocaine deaths also increased slightly.

Overprescription

The U.S. opioid epidemic is rooted in decades of overprescription of addictive painkillers. The crisis is responsible for about 400,000 deaths involving prescription or illicit opioids, including high-profile victims such as pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty.

But there are some signs the tide is beginning to turn.

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Bottles of several opioid based medication at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio, June 21, 2017. VOA

In recent months, federal and state authorities have taken on drug giants in court for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe their medicines or for deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks of addiction.

ALSO READ: Researchers: The Herb kratom to Treat Pain and Opioid Addiction Not Safe for Use

The overall opioid prescribing rate peaked in 2012 at 81 prescriptions for every 100 Americans and had dropped to 58 by 2017, according to data suggesting that health care providers have become more cautious.

But the amount of opioids prescribed per person is still around three times higher than it was in 1999, according to the CDC, which uses a unit called morphine milligram equivalents (MME) to account for differences in drug type and strength. (VOA)