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FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires labeling changes for prescription opioid cough and cold medicines to limit their use to adults 18 years and older.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 11, 2018.
Tools/Toolkit > Government Resource
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The opioid crisis is a persisting patient safety problem. One approach to prevent misuse of opioids is to raise awareness of the addictive nature of the medication. This national campaign enlists communities and individual clinicians to provide patient education to address the opioid epidemic. The website offers videos and other resources to assist community-level efforts to reduce risk for opioid addiction.
Web Resource > Government Resource
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Overdoses of opioid medications are considered an epidemic in the United States. This website provides access to various resources for hospitals and clinicians to help them address this patient safety concern. Sections include guidelines, clinical decision support, electronic prescribing, and prescription drug monitoring programs.
Journal Article > Commentary
Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2016;65:1-49.
Opioid pain medications carry high risk for adverse drug events and misuse. Due to climbing rates of opioid use and associated adverse events, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain. These guidelines do not apply to patients receiving cancer treatment, palliative care, or end-of-life care. The authors recommend using opioids for chronic pain only if nonopioid medications and nonpharmacologic approaches to chronic pain are not effective and prescribing immediate-release instead of long-acting medications. For acute pain, they recommend limiting duration of therapy, stating that more than 1 week of medications should rarely be needed. The guidelines also suggest minimizing concurrent use of opioids and other sedating medications and dispensing naloxone to prevent overdoses. A previous WebM&M commentary describes an adverse event related to opioids.
Rockville, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; 2013.
To protect children and pets from accidental exposure to prescription medications, this consumer alert outlines the dangers of inappropriate storage and disposal of medication skin patches.