Doctors who limit the supply of opioids they prescribe to three days or less may help patients avoid the dangers of dependence and addiction, a new study suggests.
Among patients without cancer, a single day's supply of a narcotic painkiller can result in 6 percent of patients being on an opioid a year later, the researchers said.
The odds of long-term opioid use increased most sharply in the first days of therapy, particularly after five days of taking the drugs. The rate of long-term opioid use increased to about 13 percent for patients who first took the drugs for eight days or more, according to the report.
Many try steroid injections to ease chronic lower back pain, but researchers now say this remedy provides only short-term relief.
In their study, investigators from France focused on 135 patients with back pain seemingly caused by inflammation between the discs and bones (vertebrae) in the lower spine.
The researchers found that a single steroid injection eased pain for one month. After that, however, effectiveness waned. Virtually no difference was seen one year after treatment between patients who did or didn't get the injection.
Newly updated guidelines reaffirm that metformin is the first-line drug for people with type 2 diabetes, and that several other medications -- including newer ones -- can be added if needed.
Cluster headaches are extremely painful, but treatable and preventable, one neurologist says.
Because they are so rare, they are often misdiagnosed as migraines or allergies and aren't treated appropriately.
Cluster headaches are short but extremely painful headaches that occur in clusters, usually at the same time of the day and night for several weeks, according to the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.