Breaking News
September 22, 2018 - Brigham Genomic Medicine program unravels 30 medical mysteries
September 22, 2018 - New system harnesses power of bubbles to destroy dangerous biofilms
September 22, 2018 - Inflammation plays crucial role in preventing heart attacks and strokes, study reveals
September 22, 2018 - Calorie dense, nutrient deficient meals common across the world
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop technology to study behavior of implants without animal testing
September 22, 2018 - First gut bacteria in newborns may have lasting effect on ability to ward off chronic diseases
September 22, 2018 - Detection of BFD virus in parrots in 8 new countries raises concerns for threatened species
September 22, 2018 - Insulin treatment shows great potential against chronic bowel inflammation
September 22, 2018 - ‘Liking Gap’ Might Stand in Way of New Friendships
September 22, 2018 - Simple factors that can avoid harmful side effects in type 2 diabetes
September 22, 2018 - ALSAM Foundation invests additional $2 million for drug discovery and development projects
September 22, 2018 - Study findings may advance discussion of how to effectively curb human-wildlife conflict
September 22, 2018 - Dopamine neurons may involve in conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease to schizophrenia
September 22, 2018 - Protein C and Protein S Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 22, 2018 - Obesity and diabetes—two reasons why we should be worried about the plastics that surround us
September 22, 2018 - Concern over fussy eating prompts parents to use non-responsive feeding practices
September 22, 2018 - Novel mathematical approach uncovers existence of unsuspected biological cycles
September 22, 2018 - Cancer Research UK invests £14 million to transform London into cancer biotherapeutics hub
September 22, 2018 - Scientists predict how well the body will fight lung cancer by analyzing immune cell shapes
September 22, 2018 - New outbreak of rare eye disease identified in contact lens wearers
September 22, 2018 - Iterum Initiates SURE 2 and SURE 3 Phase 3 Clinical Trials of IV and Oral Sulopenem in Complicated Urinary Tract and Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections
September 22, 2018 - Research finds divide in dental health accessibility between city and regional areas
September 22, 2018 - Premature babies show better brain development when fed breast milk, finds study
September 22, 2018 - Novel system uses AI to detect abnormalities in fetal hearts
September 22, 2018 - UNC scientists reveal new approach to prevent obesity and diabetes
September 22, 2018 - CWRU receives NIH grant to learn how non-coding genes contribute to spread of colorectal cancer
September 22, 2018 - Scientists better understand influenza virus and how it spreads
September 22, 2018 - Scientists to focus on length of time when a person is alive and healthy
September 22, 2018 - Study shows positive financial impacts of Medicaid expansion for low-income Michigan residents
September 22, 2018 - Innovative approach for developing vaccine against most prevalent human malaria parasite
September 22, 2018 - Survey estimates caregiving costs for family members
September 22, 2018 - Inhibiting NF-kB improves heart function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
September 22, 2018 - Introducing new EMR system may affect several aspects of clinic workflow
September 22, 2018 - Study finds why some human genes are more popular with biomedical researchers
September 22, 2018 - Finding epigenetic signature appears to predict inflammation risk in serious type of IBD
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop light-based technique to measure very weak magnetic fields
September 22, 2018 - UAB researchers study dysfunction of the immune system associated with NSAID carprofen
September 22, 2018 - QIAGEN and DiaSorin launch automated, CE-marked workflow for high-throughput TB screening
September 22, 2018 - EFS checklist provides user-friendly tool for evaluating feeding skills in preterm infants
September 22, 2018 - Family history in blacks, Latinos associated with higher risk of AFib
September 22, 2018 - Researchers identify new genetic disorder in a human patient
September 22, 2018 - Cardiac MR With Contrast Feasible in Developing World
September 22, 2018 - Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people
September 21, 2018 - Children with asthma found to be disadvantaged in education and future occupation
September 21, 2018 - Interaction of chemical slurry and ancient shale in fracking wastewater causes radioactivity
September 21, 2018 - Scientists use mice to study transmission of Lyme disease bacteria by infected ticks
September 21, 2018 - Researchers find that sample size is key factor determining accuracy of study results
September 21, 2018 - Study shows how the drive to eat overpowers the brain’s signal to stop
September 21, 2018 - 30 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes
September 21, 2018 - Thousands of breast cancer gene variants engineered and analyzed
September 21, 2018 - The current fellowship interview process is cumbersome — Stanford researchers have a better idea
September 21, 2018 - Progenitor cells for human bone and cartilage have been identified
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new therapeutic target for pediatric tumor-associated intractable epilepsy
September 21, 2018 - SLU’s College professor receives NIH grant to develop I-TEST project
September 21, 2018 - DermTech completes enrollment in clinical study to assess DNA damage and reversal
September 21, 2018 - Grieving patients treated with talk therapy have lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness
September 21, 2018 - NIH and FDA call for eliminating involvement of RAC in human gene therapy experiments
September 21, 2018 - New system uses algorithm to convert 2D videos into 3D printed ‘motion sculptures’
September 21, 2018 - Sea squirt model reveals key molecules in dopaminergic neuron differentiation
September 21, 2018 - Effective management of neonatal abstinence syndrome requires coordinated ‘cascade of care’
September 21, 2018 - Refugees seek care for wounds of war
September 21, 2018 - Under the sea, in an octopus’ garden on ecstacy
September 21, 2018 - Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort
September 21, 2018 - Giving kids honest information about water consumption may help them make healthy choices
September 21, 2018 - Horwitz Prize Awarded for Work on Hormones
September 21, 2018 - CHMP issues positive opinion supporting use of Trelegy Ellipta in broader group of COPD patients
September 21, 2018 - Scientists discover new molecules that work together to remove unwanted DNA
September 21, 2018 - Dr. Fenella France to deliver 2019 Plenary Lecture
September 21, 2018 - New research finds that MHC-II molecules have more influence on tumors than MHC-I
September 21, 2018 - Researchers study effects of cardiac cycle in simple learning task
September 21, 2018 - FDA takes new steps to address opioid crisis by approving Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy
September 21, 2018 - Positive Barhemsys Phase 3 Treatment Data Published in Anesthesia & Analgesia
September 21, 2018 - Celiac Disease Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 21, 2018 - Autism linked to egg cells’ difficulty creating large proteins
September 21, 2018 - Tweaking nuclear pores could provide new avenue to battle against cancer
September 21, 2018 - Experts warn health care providers to slow down in allowing smart pill in patient care settings
September 21, 2018 - MoreGrasp reports breakthrough development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new way to target HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer
September 21, 2018 - CHMP grants positive opinion for VENCLYXTO plus rituximab for treating relapsed/refractory CLL
September 21, 2018 - Study offers solid link between visceral organs and brain’s reward, motivation system
Fentanyl Driving Surge in Fatal U.S. Opioid Overdoses

Fentanyl Driving Surge in Fatal U.S. Opioid Overdoses

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

By E.J. Mundell

FRIDAY, Oct. 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Extremely powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanil, were directly responsible for more than half of thousands of opioid overdose deaths across many states in 2016, a new report finds.

Most often, fentanyl and even more potent “fentanyl analog” drugs — such as carfentanil — were mixed into the heroin that addicts were using, often without their knowledge, say researchers at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new report, based on data from 10 states, comes a day after President Donald Trump declared the opioid addiction epidemic a national public health emergency, potentially freeing up more funds to battle what he called a “scourge.”

The study, led by CDC researcher Julie O’Donnell, looked at toxicology reports from nearly 5,200 fatal opioid overdoses occurring between July and December of 2016 in 10 states: Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

O’Donnell’s team reported that “fentanyl was detected in at least half of opioid overdose deaths in seven of 10 states,” and other illicit drugs, such as heroin, were also involved in 57 percent of these fatalities.

In about 47 percent of ODs involving fentanyl, drugs were injected, although fatal overdoses also occurred when drugs were snorted or ingested, the research showed.

Fentanyl-linked fatal ODs occurred most frequently in the Northeast, where between 60 percent and 90 percent of fatalities were tied to fentanyl. Victims were most likely to be white (81 percent), male (71 percent) and between the ages of 25 and 44 (about 58 percent).

Often, drug abusers may not know that dealers have “cut” heroin with fentanyl or its analogs, and so “fentanyl mixed with heroin, with or without users’ knowledge, is driving many fentanyl overdoses,” the report said.

Both fentanyl and its analogs, such as carfentanil or furanylfentanyl, are extremely potent. According to O’Donnell’s team, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, while carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent. Especially after injection, unconsciousness, and then death, can come quickly.

Dr. Robert Glatter works in the ER at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital. “As an emergency physician on the front lines, I am witness to the devastating effects of opiate overdose and addiction on a daily basis, and how it rips apart relationships and families,” he said.

“Carfentanil is one of the most potent analogs which is currently of major concern,” he added. “Minute amounts can be deadly.” In fact, he said, carfentanil is so powerful that even Narcan (naloxone), the “rescue” drug often used to reverse an opioid overdose, can prove ineffective.

The new CDC report found evidence that carfentanil and its deadly kin are making inroads in the United States. In the new study, “fentanyl analogs were present in more than 10 percent of opioid overdose deaths in four states,” O’Donnell’s group noted.

Carfentanil hit Ohio particularly hard, with 350 fatal overdoses there linked to the drug’s use, the study found.

“The stark reality is that this crisis has been playing out on a daily basis in our nation’s emergency departments and ICUs over the past several decades, affecting tens of millions of families,” Glatter said.

The executive order signed Thursday by Trump pledges more federal funding to fight opioid dependency. But that money first needs to be allocated by Congress. Should it arrive, the CDC team believes it should be earmarked for interventions that are known to work.

These include a wider availability to the OD-reversal drug Narcan, but especially “increased access to medication-assisted treatment” to help wean addicts off opioids, O’Donnell’s team said.

Glatter agreed, saying “approaches focusing on medication-assisted treatment along with counseling have shown recent promise.”

The new report was published Oct. 27 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

SOURCES: Robert Glatter, M.D., emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Oct. 27, 2017, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles