Opioid Use and Misuse Resource Center

APhA believes it is imperative that a proper balance be maintained in delivering appropriate pain management for the millions of patients with legitimate needs for controlled substances while taking steps to minimize misuse.  Pharmacists possess unique knowledge about the safe and effective use of medications and about the adverse events resulting from inappropriate use. Such knowledge enables pharmacists to play an important role in patient access to opioids, but also opioid drug misuse prevention, education, and assistance.  

Opioid News
November 22, 2019
Loperamide will now come in limited-dose packaging

The changes apply to the packaging for tablet and capsule forms of the brand-name OTC antidiarrheal medications Imodium A-D, Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief, and Be Health Loperamide HCI Capsules, according to an FDA safety communication. Each pack will now contain no more than 48 mg of loperamide,…

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July 19, 2019
AMA Opioid Task Force releases recommendations to increase treatment access

AMA’s Opioid Task Force released recommendations in May focused on prior authorization, step therapy, and other administrative barriers that prevent patients from being able to access appropriate and timely medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for treatment of opioid use disorder.  “Once a patient…

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June 25, 2019
Shorter duration opioid prescriptions plus education could be better for patients after surgery

A total of 264 patients were divided into three groups: 109 were prescribed 50 opioid tablets after surgery, 78 patients were prescribed 30 tablets and received education before surgery on appropriate opioid use and alternative pain control strategies, and 77 patients received 30 tablets and no…

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May 20, 2019
How common is inappropriate use of transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl?

In a recent issue of JAMA, Rollman and colleagues evaluated almost 5,000 pages of FDA documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act to assess whether the REMS program for TIRF products was meeting its goals. Specifically, the researchers reviewed 6 years of REMS data from 2012 to 2017 for the…

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May 6, 2019
Monthly buprenorphine injection could be another favorable option for treating opioid use disorder

BUP-XR was approved by FDA in 2017 as a monthly long-acting injection used to treat patients who have moderate to severe opioid use disorder. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial took place at 36 U.S. treatment centers from January 2015 to November 2015. Eligible participants—…

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April 30, 2019
CDC cautions against misapplication of 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

The authors stressed that the guideline’s recommendations on opioids should not be used for purposes outside of chronic pain management in adults aged 18 years and older. The guideline’s misapplication to other patient populations, such as those undergoing active cancer treatment, acute sickle cell…

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