Tag Archives: Prescription

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CDC Takes on Prescription Drug Overdose with New Social Media Campaign #RxProblem


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) April 15, 2015

Waismann Method® Drug Treatment Center Medical Director congratulates the CDC on new social media initiative to combat prescription drug overdose. Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D., a world-renowned expert on opiate dependence and rapid detoxification, believes that the initiative represents a positive force in combating opiate-related overdose, death, and disability.

The Waismann Method® Medical Group lauds the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its new social media initiative to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse in the United States. As international leaders in opiate addiction, detox, and treatment for nearly two decades, Waismann Method® experts are optimistic that the social media campaign will successfully reduce stigma associated with opiate addiction, encourage affected individuals to seek treatment and reduce the epidemic levels of prescription drug abuse, overdose and deaths among across society, including but not limited to: youth, college students and elderly.

Announced at the fourth annual National RX Drug Abuse Summit in Atlanta, the CDC campaign will run through May 15. Entitled “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem,” the social media initiative urges people to write a six-word story or message, create an original video, or post a picture about their experiences with prescription drug abuse. Messages will be posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #RxProblem. In solidarity with the CDC initiative, the Waismann Method® Medical Group is calling on physicians, mental health professionals, and all those impacted by prescription drug abuse to use the #RxProblem hashtag to share their stories on social media.

“One of the largest barriers to treatment is the misunderstanding and stigma attached to opiate dependence,” said Dr. Michael Lowenstein, Medical Director of the Waismann Method®. “With more than 16,000 people dying from prescription drug overdose in 2013, the CDC social media initiative is an important move in bringing these issues into the public eye. We need to engage individuals, their families, and the entire community to combat opiate dependence and encourage those struggling with prescription drug abuse to seek treatment. This social media campaign is particularly important for reaching our nation’s young people, who are disproportionately affected by drug addiction.”

The Waismann Method Medical® Group pledges to continue combating opiate dependence and encourages the CDC to keep creating innovative solutions to the substance abuse problems facing the nation.

For more information about the Waismann Method®, please visit http://www.opiates.com. For interviews with Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, please contact Clare Waismann at 310-205-0808 or send an email to info(at)opiates(dot)com.

About Waismann Method Treatment

Since its inception in the late 1990s, the Waismann Method® treatment center has been internationally recognized as a premier facility for opiate treatment. In particular, the facility specializes in rapid opiate detoxification and utilizes state-of-the-art techniques to treat opiate dependence. Located in Southern California, the Waismann Method® treatment center provides comprehensive care for opiate dependence. From anesthesia assisted rapid detoxification to modified medical opiate detoxification, the Waismann Method® medical director ensures that each patient receives individualized care tailored to his or her unique needs. All detoxification treatment is performed in a fully accredited hospital, with aftercare provided in our exclusive Domus Retreat Recovery Center.

Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D., has served as Medical Director for Waismann Method® for nearly 20 years. He is acclaimed as an international authority on opiate addiction and rapid detoxification treatment methods. Dr. Lowenstein holds four board certifications, including board-certification in Addiction Medicine, Pain Management, and Anesthesiology. He has over two decades of experience as a pain specialist and expert in opiate dependence. Most recently, Dr. Lowenstein completed a fellowship and board certification in Anti-Aging, Restorative, and Regenerative Medicine to enhance his understanding of the effects of opioid use on the brain and other body systems. This expertise has been fully integrated into Waismann Method® clinical practice, uses the most advanced methods available to ensure quality of patient experience and outcomes.

Waismann Method® rapid opiate detox is provided in an accredited hospital with specialized services for patients with varying medical and dependency needs. Physicians, therapists, and staff work collaboratively with patients to create a personalized treatment and aftercare plan designed to ensure a healthy and effective transition to a life without opiates. Waismann Method® patients achieve an extraordinarily high success rate, and thousands of patients have been effectively treated using our methods. The professionals at the Waismann Method® treatment center place the utmost importance on compassionate, responsible, patient care.

Find out more about the Waismann Method® at http://www.opiates.com.







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Consumer Reports Warns Against the Risks of Prescription and Over-The-Counter Painkillers


YONKERS, NY (PRWEB) July 31, 2014

Some pain relief medications can be as addictive as heroin and are rife with deadly side effects. Every day, 46 people in the U.S. die from legal pain pills and for each death, more than 30 people are admitted to an emergency room because of opioid complications. Consumer Reports has taken a close look at the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter painkillers and is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do more to make these drugs safer.

The full report, “Deadly Pain Pills” is featured in the September 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine and is available at http://www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumer Reports looked at the deadly misconceptions associated with prescription opioids – including OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and generic versions – narcotics that can make life more bearable for patients recovering from surgery or suffering from chronic pain or cancer. In addition, it identified the risks associated with taking too much acetaminophen, Tylenol and generic, a medication often renowned for its safety, as well as the inconsistent and sometimes confusing maximum daily amounts of the drug allowed by the FDA.

The use of opioids has skyrocketed in recent years with prescriptions climbing 300 percent in the past decade. Vicodin and other drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone are now the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. Used properly, opioids can ease severe short-term pain from, say, surgery or a broken bone, and manage chronic pain from an illness such as cancer. However, Consumer Reports has found that there are safer approaches such as using other prescription medications to treat certain conditions such as nerve pain, migraines and more, reserving opioids for flare-ups, or to start with a short-acting opioid.

When taken carefully and in the right amounts, acetaminophen is safe for pain relief for most people, even when used long-term. However, almost 80,000 people per year are treated in emergency rooms because they have taken too much of it; and acetaminophen is now the most common cause of liver failure in the U.S.

Consumer Reports believes the advice on acetaminophen packaging to “take only as directed” is confusing and conflicting. While the FDA has lowered the maximum per-pill dose of prescription acetaminophen, the agency has not yet taken the same step for over-the-counter (OTC) products.

And OTC acetaminophen drug-makers have very different notions of what people can take – some labels advise taking no more than 1,000 milligrams daily while others set the limit almost four times as high. And, accidentally taking too much acetaminophen is all too easy – it is the most common drug in the U.S., and is found as an ingredient in more than 600 OTC and prescription medications including allergy aids, cough and cold remedies, fever reducers, pain relievers and sleep aids.

“All of this doesn’t mean that everyone should avoid opioids and acetaminophen altogether,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports. “There are safer ways of taking these medications and alternative options. But it does mean that the FDA should fulfill its role to protect consumers by taking strong steps to reduce the dangers, starting by reconsidering its approval of Zohydro ER and establishing consistent standards for acetaminophen.”

Consumer Reports is asking the FDA to make the pain-reliever market less confusing and safer for consumers by taking these first steps: Reconsidering the approval of Zohydro ER, a long-acting version of hydrocodone that the agency approved in December 2013 against the recommendation of its own panel of expert advisers, and to make acetaminophen standards consistent.

Consumer Reports also advises consumers to know the risks, not only of opioids and acetaminophen but also of drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and generic), naproxen (Aleve and generic) and Celebrex (currently prescribed only under its brand name, but it should be available in the future as a generic). Like its non-prescription cousins, Celebrex can pose risks to your heart and stomach when taken regularly, as millions of Americans do.

“Pain drugs can be as bad as the pain itself,” Lipman says. “So you need to know when they are really needed and how to use them safely.”

The full report, featured in the September 2014 issue of Consumer Reports and at http://www.ConsumerReports.org also features advice for safe opioid use and drug and nondrug measures to treat back pain, headaches, joint pain and sore muscles.







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Following Wall Street Journal Report on Birth Injury From Prescription Medications, RX Birth Defects Releases New Resources for Alleged Victims of Topamax


(Vocus/PRWEB) April 12, 2011

On March 29, 2011 the Wall Street Journal covered the growing concern surrounding birth defects related to prescription medications taken by women during pregnancy. The article, entitiled “Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt The Baby?” examines the history of drug approval in the United States, as well as the lack of appropriate measures to determine dangers to pregnant women and unborn children (Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt the Baby, March 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal).

The article was spurred by the fact that in March of 2011, the FDA released a new MedAlert Safety Update regarding the pregnancy category classification of the popular migraine drug Topamax (also known as Topiragen or topiramate). (Topamax (topiramate): Label Change – Risk For Development of Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate in Newborns, March 4, 2011, fda.gov). This alert followed a troubling February 2011 annoucement that certain antipsychotic drugs including Haldol, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify, could cause significant withdrawal symptoms after birth if a child is exposed en uteri. (Antipsychotic Drugs Used During Pregnancy Could Harm Newborn, February 2011, fda.gov).

A drug classification change for Topamax means that the drug is now placed in a drug category that indicates “there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans”. (Chart of FDA Pregnancy Categories, fda.gov) The FDA strongly advises that all other options be explored before a woman uses a category D drug during pregnancy and that the drug only be used if the risk to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

The specific Topamax re-classification was encouraged by evidence presented by the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry suggesting that oral-facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate may be linked to the use of Topamax during pregnancy. Specifically, the NAAED cites that the existence of major malformations was 3.8% in the topiramate-exposed group of infants versus 1.3% in the unexposed reference group. The prevalence of cleft lip was 0.69% versus the expected rate of .07% in the normal population. (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010).)

Topamax is part of a class of drugs known as “anticonvulsants” or “anti-epileptics”, a class of drugs at the center of the birth defect debate. Numerous other anticonvulsant drugs, including the epileptic and seizure medication Depakote, have been linked to potential birth defects. Depakote, specifically, has been linked to serious neural tube malformations that cause the debilitating condition of spina bifida (Source: The Teratogenicity of Anticonvulsant Drugs, Lewis B. Holmes, M.D., N Engl J Med 2001; 344:1132-1138, April 12, 2001).

Currently, no comprehensive testing of potential drug risks for pregnant or breastfeeding women or unborn children exists. The ethical issues surrounding testing on these demographic groups prevents organized studies for this population. As a result, many of the birth defects that may be related to prescription drugs are not discovered until after the drug is released to the public and physicians or drug registry programs begin reporting a pattern of birth injuries.

RXBirthDefects.com is part of the family of resource websites created by the Consumer Justice Foundation, an online consumer watchdog agency. Following the Wall Street Journal article and the FDA classification change for Topamax, RXBirthDefects.com added a resource section dedicated to providing information about potential birth defects related to Topamax use during pregnancy.

The Topamax birth defect information covered on RXBirthDefects.com includes detailed information about the oral-facial malformations and genital malformations that may be related to the drug use. This includes facial clefts such as cleft lip, cleft palate and the male genital deformation of hypospadias (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010)).

Families seeking legal recourse for birth injuries related to Topamax taken during pregnancy can find more information about how to file a Topamax lawsuit and updated news on the status of ongoing Topamax litigation in the United States. Families can connect immediately with reputable Topamax attorneys and legal representation via the free case evaluation form available online at RXBirthDefects.com.

About RXBirthDefects.com:

RXBirthDefects.com provides comprehensive information and resources regarding the use of prescription medication during pregnancy. The information on RXBirthDefects.com currently covers the prescription anticonvulsants Topamax, Dilantin, Depakote and Tegretol as well as the common antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac and Zoloft. The website provides an online resource center and free claim review form for women and families seeking more information about the specific birth defects that may be related to these drugs when used during pregnancy.

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Recent Reports State That 19 Million Americans Abuse Prescription Drugs; FDA and Novus Medical Detox Agree That Education is Needed


New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 46 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdose, which adds up to about 17,000 deaths annually. The reports also state that poisonings by drug overdose have tripled over the past 30 years. (1) Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, states that the reason behind the high number of fatalities lies in inadequate drug education.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries this same belief, and has responded by implementing a new drug education program. The program seeks to educate doctors who prescribe these highly-addictive painkillers, as well as the patients who are taking them. The program’s mission is “to teach doctors about proper opiate prescribing for pain patients to minimize the risks of diversion and addiction.” (4)

The United Nation’s World Drug Report 2014 stated that in 2012, 6.1% (19 million) of Americans abused prescription opioids, including morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin. This figure categorizes the United States as a country that abuses prescription drugs more than any other country in the world. (2) In an effort to lower the number of people harmed by these drugs, Novus warns Americans to exercise caution when receiving a new prescription from a physician, and to ask questions related to its side effects.

“Intentionally or not, Americans may be underestimating the highly addictive nature of drugs such as opioids,” stated Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon. “It may start as nothing more than filling a prescription for legitimate pain, but overdose may result when a patient seeks to elicit a stronger high from these drugs.”

Novus recommends that the following steps be taken when being prescribed a new medication (3):

●    Be sure that the prescription comes from a trusted physician;

●    Only use the medication as prescribed;

●    Ask the physician about the medicine and its effects;

●    Conduct your own research about the drug’s effects; and

●    Be prepared—ask your doctor what to do if one becomes addicted.

All of these tips are important to heed before a patient starts to take a medication, because addiction may begin with the patient being unaware of a medication’s initial effects. This patient may begin to take pills more liberally than prescribed, and the dangers of addiction do not lie far behind.

Runyon maintains that comprehensive drug education, starting in grade school and continuing throughout adult life to physician visits, can help to significantly reduce the number of Americans addicted to such drugs.

While new preventative measures are being taken, Novus recommends looking out for the following symptoms or behaviors (but not limited to), if someone suspects that a loved one is abusing pain reliever prescription drugs (5):

●    Nausea, drowsiness;

●    Mood swings and anxiety;

●    Slowed reactions, movement and breathing;

●    Jittery or secretive; and/or

●    Neglect of work/school responsibilities.

Runyon advises those who are dependent upon any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television, and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.Hutchins, Sarah. “Drug Overdose: Prescription Painkillers Poison 46 Americans Every Day.” Liberty Voice, 20 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. guardianlv.com/2014/07/drug-overdose-prescription-painkillers-poison-46-americans-every-day/.

2.Blake, Matthew. “Extent of US Dependency on Prescription Drugs Revealed: UN Report Shows 6% of American Adults Hooked on Pills.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683318/Extent-US-dependency-prescription-drugs-revealed-UN-report-shows-6-American-adults-hooked-pills.html.

3.Winkel, Bethany. “Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse—Treatment Solutions.” Treatment Solutions. N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 July 2014. treatmentsolutions.com/avoiding-prescription-drug-abuse/.

4.Sack, David. “FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits—and Misses—the Mark—Addiction Recovery.” Addiction Recovery with David Sack, M.D. Psych Central.com, 7 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/07/fda-prescription-drug-abuse-plan-hits-and-misses-the-mark/.

5.“Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.” Narconon International, n.d. Web. 22 July 2014. narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-pain-relievers.html.







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Teen Rehab Center CEO Releases Answers to Top Five Questions on Prescription Drug Abuse


Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 02, 2014

Prescription drugs are the second-most abused type of drug, after marijuana. The abuse of prescription drugs has risen by 33 percent since 2008, putting more and more teens in danger. Yet, due to a lack of education, this issue is continually overlooked.

Eighty percent of parents talk with their teens about the dangers of common street drugs, but only 15 percent address the dangers of prescription drug abuse with their kids. In order to help parents better understand the prevalence of prescription drug abuse among teens, Johnny Patout, CEO of New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has answered the five most common questions posed by parents.

1. How dangerous is prescription drug abuse? “In short, extremely,” said Patout. “More teens die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined. Prescription drugs are just too easy for teens to access. Sixty percent of teens who abuse these drugs have free access to them via friends and relatives. Parents must realize the commonality of this issue and learn how to take the proper precautions against it.”

2. Which prescription drugs are commonly abused? “Prescriptions for opioid painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and morphine have skyrocketed in the last decade,” said Patout. “According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 5 million of the 7 million people who reported abusing prescription drugs said they were abusing a pain reliever. Additionally, Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are also massively overprescribed and stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD have escalated in use greatly. Many of these drugs are prescribed unnecessarily for small problems. The excess of these drugs in the hands of teenagers leads to abuse of them.”

3. What if my teen is prescribed a pain reliever or ADHD medication? “The key to dealing with these drugs is monitoring them when they are in the home,” said Patout. “Parents need to keep track of the pills as the teen takes them and not leave extras in the house. It is a good idea to lock up all prescription drugs in the home, even those prescribed to kids. If a parent feels their teen is falsely claiming to be suffering from pain in order to obtain a pain reliever, they should consult a medical professional immediately.”

4. What are “pill parties? “Pill parties are gatherings where teens each bring an assortment of pills,” said Patout. “The pills are then piled together and attendees help themselves. Also called ‘skittles parties’ or ‘pharm parties,’ these gatherings are incredibly dangerous. Teens don’t know what they are taking and could be ingesting lethal combinations of drugs. Sometimes, they will mix alcohol with the drugs, only serving to increase their risk of an overdose. These parties point to the rampant amount of prescription drugs available today.”

5. What should I do if I discover my son or daughter abusing prescription drugs? “The first step is for parents to know the signs of prescription drug abuse so they can keep an eye out for them,” said Patout. “These include changes in appetite, grades, sleeping patterns, mood, personal hygiene and energy level. Side effects will vary depending on what they are taking. If a parent confirms their teenager is abusing prescription drugs, they should explain that prescription drugs are not safe just because a doctor prescribed them. If they believe the drug use is habitual and becoming destructive, it is important to consult a health professional or a teen rehabilitation center. Prescription drug abuse should not be ignored or taken lightly.”

For more information on teen drug addiction and recovery, please visit http://www.newbeginningsshc.com/ or contact a New Beginnings representative at 888-706-1870.

About New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center

New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has been helping teens overcome addiction for more than 30 years. New Beginnings offers a continuum of care for inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs, and works with private insurance providers to find the lowest costs for their patients. For more information, visit http://www.newbeginningsteenhelp.com.







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Fulton County Government sues multiple drug companies for supplying and distributing prescription drugs in GA at the alleged disregard of state laws and citizen’s welfare


Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) April 06, 2015

A conglomerate of companies supplying and distributing prescription drugs in Fulton County and throughout the state of Georgia under the brand name of Cardinal Health Companies, McKesson Corporation and AmeriSourceBergen Drug Corporation are being sued by Fulton County for allegedly causing injuries and engaging in a course of conduct that violates Georgia law. The law suit was filed by Fulton County Government in the Superior Court of Fulton County on Wednesday, March 10, 2015 – Case No. 2015CV258133.

According to court documents, the civil action addresses the epidemic of prescription opioid drug abuse and addiction in the State of Georgia and the related costs to the County. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), more than 16,500 people died in 2010 in the United States from opioid painkillers, more than from heroin and cocaine combined, and prescription painkillers are now the nation’s number one drug problem.

The prescription drug distribution system is a sprawling one that involves approximately 800 companies that sell billions of pills annually as stated in the complaint presented to the court. In 2012, sales of prescription painkillers in the United States reached $ 8.5 billion according to industry reports according to court documents..

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has reported that of the 686 drug overdose deaths in 2012, 592 (86%) were prescription drugs. The annual cost to Fulton County from the abuse of prescription drug is estimated to be millions of dollars. These costs are from expenses for Fulton County’s hospitals and health agencies, courts, social service agencies, jails and prisons, etc. according to court documents.

According to further court documents,. Cardinal had sent 2,050,000 oxycodone pills to one store in Florida where the population in the town was 53,000. These defendants have supplied controlled substances to rogue drugstores and clinics which disburse controlled substances based on bogus prescriptions from physicians who are prescribing for illegitimate purposes.as stated in court documents.

The complaint found in court documents alleges that Defendants violated provisions within the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and the Georgia Pharmacy Practice Act. It alleges that Defendants have, by their acts and omissions, caused and substantially contributed to damages to Fulton County by violating Georgia law, by creating conditions which contribute to the violations of Georgia laws by others, and by their negligent and/or reckless disregard of the customs, standards and practices within their own industry.

This civil action has requested that the Court issue a temporary and permanent injunction which will mandate the defendants to inform the Georgia State Board of Pharmacy of all suspicious orders for controlled substances; direct the defendants to submit their system of determining suspicious drug orders; and enjoin defendants from distributing in Georgia any controlled substance for illegitimate medical purpose. The plaintiff, Fulton County, also asks to recover costs, losses and damages; reimbursement for litigation costs; and a trial by jury.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Fulton County by Attorneys Roderick Edmond of Edmond, Lindsay and Hoffler, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia and Mark Tate of the Tate Law Group in Savannah, Georgia. Mr. Tate says, “This litigation gives Fulton County the opportunity to force the Defendants who have profited handsomely on the ticket of Fulton County taxpayers to shift the burden of costs to where it should be.” Mr. Edmond commented that, “This is a statewide problem, and Fulton County had to take action to stem the tide of its financial losses from the prescription drug abuse epidemic.”







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Following Wall Street Journal Report on Birth Injury From Prescription Medications, RX Birth Defects Releases New Resources for Alleged Victims of Topamax


(Vocus/PRWEB) April 12, 2011

On March 29, 2011 the Wall Street Journal covered the growing concern surrounding birth defects related to prescription medications taken by women during pregnancy. The article, entitiled “Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt The Baby?” examines the history of drug approval in the United States, as well as the lack of appropriate measures to determine dangers to pregnant women and unborn children (Can Mom’s Medicine Hurt the Baby, March 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal).

The article was spurred by the fact that in March of 2011, the FDA released a new MedAlert Safety Update regarding the pregnancy category classification of the popular migraine drug Topamax (also known as Topiragen or topiramate). (Topamax (topiramate): Label Change – Risk For Development of Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate in Newborns, March 4, 2011, fda.gov). This alert followed a troubling February 2011 annoucement that certain antipsychotic drugs including Haldol, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify, could cause significant withdrawal symptoms after birth if a child is exposed en uteri. (Antipsychotic Drugs Used During Pregnancy Could Harm Newborn, February 2011, fda.gov).

A drug classification change for Topamax means that the drug is now placed in a drug category that indicates “there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans”. (Chart of FDA Pregnancy Categories, fda.gov) The FDA strongly advises that all other options be explored before a woman uses a category D drug during pregnancy and that the drug only be used if the risk to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus.

The specific Topamax re-classification was encouraged by evidence presented by the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry suggesting that oral-facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate may be linked to the use of Topamax during pregnancy. Specifically, the NAAED cites that the existence of major malformations was 3.8% in the topiramate-exposed group of infants versus 1.3% in the unexposed reference group. The prevalence of cleft lip was 0.69% versus the expected rate of .07% in the normal population. (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010).)

Topamax is part of a class of drugs known as “anticonvulsants” or “anti-epileptics”, a class of drugs at the center of the birth defect debate. Numerous other anticonvulsant drugs, including the epileptic and seizure medication Depakote, have been linked to potential birth defects. Depakote, specifically, has been linked to serious neural tube malformations that cause the debilitating condition of spina bifida (Source: The Teratogenicity of Anticonvulsant Drugs, Lewis B. Holmes, M.D., N Engl J Med 2001; 344:1132-1138, April 12, 2001).

Currently, no comprehensive testing of potential drug risks for pregnant or breastfeeding women or unborn children exists. The ethical issues surrounding testing on these demographic groups prevents organized studies for this population. As a result, many of the birth defects that may be related to prescription drugs are not discovered until after the drug is released to the public and physicians or drug registry programs begin reporting a pattern of birth injuries.

RXBirthDefects.com is part of the family of resource websites created by the Consumer Justice Foundation, an online consumer watchdog agency. Following the Wall Street Journal article and the FDA classification change for Topamax, RXBirthDefects.com added a resource section dedicated to providing information about potential birth defects related to Topamax use during pregnancy.

The Topamax birth defect information covered on RXBirthDefects.com includes detailed information about the oral-facial malformations and genital malformations that may be related to the drug use. This includes facial clefts such as cleft lip, cleft palate and the male genital deformation of hypospadias (Source: Herndandez-Diaz, S., Mittendorf, R., Holmes L.B. Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy. Birth Defects Research (Part A); 88:408 (2010)).

Families seeking legal recourse for birth injuries related to Topamax taken during pregnancy can find more information about how to file a Topamax lawsuit and updated news on the status of ongoing Topamax litigation in the United States. Families can connect immediately with reputable Topamax attorneys and legal representation via the free case evaluation form available online at RXBirthDefects.com.

About RXBirthDefects.com:

RXBirthDefects.com provides comprehensive information and resources regarding the use of prescription medication during pregnancy. The information on RXBirthDefects.com currently covers the prescription anticonvulsants Topamax, Dilantin, Depakote and Tegretol as well as the common antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac and Zoloft. The website provides an online resource center and free claim review form for women and families seeking more information about the specific birth defects that may be related to these drugs when used during pregnancy.

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Recent Reports State That 19 Million Americans Abuse Prescription Drugs; FDA and Novus Medical Detox Agree That Education is Needed


New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 46 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdose, which adds up to about 17,000 deaths annually. The reports also state that poisonings by drug overdose have tripled over the past 30 years. (1) Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, states that the reason behind the high number of fatalities lies in inadequate drug education.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries this same belief, and has responded by implementing a new drug education program. The program seeks to educate doctors who prescribe these highly-addictive painkillers, as well as the patients who are taking them. The program’s mission is “to teach doctors about proper opiate prescribing for pain patients to minimize the risks of diversion and addiction.” (4)

The United Nation’s World Drug Report 2014 stated that in 2012, 6.1% (19 million) of Americans abused prescription opioids, including morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin. This figure categorizes the United States as a country that abuses prescription drugs more than any other country in the world. (2) In an effort to lower the number of people harmed by these drugs, Novus warns Americans to exercise caution when receiving a new prescription from a physician, and to ask questions related to its side effects.

“Intentionally or not, Americans may be underestimating the highly addictive nature of drugs such as opioids,” stated Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon. “It may start as nothing more than filling a prescription for legitimate pain, but overdose may result when a patient seeks to elicit a stronger high from these drugs.”

Novus recommends that the following steps be taken when being prescribed a new medication (3):

●    Be sure that the prescription comes from a trusted physician;

●    Only use the medication as prescribed;

●    Ask the physician about the medicine and its effects;

●    Conduct your own research about the drug’s effects; and

●    Be prepared—ask your doctor what to do if one becomes addicted.

All of these tips are important to heed before a patient starts to take a medication, because addiction may begin with the patient being unaware of a medication’s initial effects. This patient may begin to take pills more liberally than prescribed, and the dangers of addiction do not lie far behind.

Runyon maintains that comprehensive drug education, starting in grade school and continuing throughout adult life to physician visits, can help to significantly reduce the number of Americans addicted to such drugs.

While new preventative measures are being taken, Novus recommends looking out for the following symptoms or behaviors (but not limited to), if someone suspects that a loved one is abusing pain reliever prescription drugs (5):

●    Nausea, drowsiness;

●    Mood swings and anxiety;

●    Slowed reactions, movement and breathing;

●    Jittery or secretive; and/or

●    Neglect of work/school responsibilities.

Runyon advises those who are dependent upon any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television, and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.Hutchins, Sarah. “Drug Overdose: Prescription Painkillers Poison 46 Americans Every Day.” Liberty Voice, 20 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. guardianlv.com/2014/07/drug-overdose-prescription-painkillers-poison-46-americans-every-day/.

2.Blake, Matthew. “Extent of US Dependency on Prescription Drugs Revealed: UN Report Shows 6% of American Adults Hooked on Pills.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683318/Extent-US-dependency-prescription-drugs-revealed-UN-report-shows-6-American-adults-hooked-pills.html.

3.Winkel, Bethany. “Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse—Treatment Solutions.” Treatment Solutions. N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 July 2014. treatmentsolutions.com/avoiding-prescription-drug-abuse/.

4.Sack, David. “FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits—and Misses—the Mark—Addiction Recovery.” Addiction Recovery with David Sack, M.D. Psych Central.com, 7 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/07/fda-prescription-drug-abuse-plan-hits-and-misses-the-mark/.

5.“Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.” Narconon International, n.d. Web. 22 July 2014. narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-pain-relievers.html.







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Teen Rehab Center CEO Releases Answers to Top Five Questions on Prescription Drug Abuse


Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) December 02, 2014

Prescription drugs are the second-most abused type of drug, after marijuana. The abuse of prescription drugs has risen by 33 percent since 2008, putting more and more teens in danger. Yet, due to a lack of education, this issue is continually overlooked.

Eighty percent of parents talk with their teens about the dangers of common street drugs, but only 15 percent address the dangers of prescription drug abuse with their kids. In order to help parents better understand the prevalence of prescription drug abuse among teens, Johnny Patout, CEO of New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has answered the five most common questions posed by parents.

1. How dangerous is prescription drug abuse? “In short, extremely,” said Patout. “More teens die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined. Prescription drugs are just too easy for teens to access. Sixty percent of teens who abuse these drugs have free access to them via friends and relatives. Parents must realize the commonality of this issue and learn how to take the proper precautions against it.”

2. Which prescription drugs are commonly abused? “Prescriptions for opioid painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and morphine have skyrocketed in the last decade,” said Patout. “According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 5 million of the 7 million people who reported abusing prescription drugs said they were abusing a pain reliever. Additionally, Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are also massively overprescribed and stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD have escalated in use greatly. Many of these drugs are prescribed unnecessarily for small problems. The excess of these drugs in the hands of teenagers leads to abuse of them.”

3. What if my teen is prescribed a pain reliever or ADHD medication? “The key to dealing with these drugs is monitoring them when they are in the home,” said Patout. “Parents need to keep track of the pills as the teen takes them and not leave extras in the house. It is a good idea to lock up all prescription drugs in the home, even those prescribed to kids. If a parent feels their teen is falsely claiming to be suffering from pain in order to obtain a pain reliever, they should consult a medical professional immediately.”

4. What are “pill parties? “Pill parties are gatherings where teens each bring an assortment of pills,” said Patout. “The pills are then piled together and attendees help themselves. Also called ‘skittles parties’ or ‘pharm parties,’ these gatherings are incredibly dangerous. Teens don’t know what they are taking and could be ingesting lethal combinations of drugs. Sometimes, they will mix alcohol with the drugs, only serving to increase their risk of an overdose. These parties point to the rampant amount of prescription drugs available today.”

5. What should I do if I discover my son or daughter abusing prescription drugs? “The first step is for parents to know the signs of prescription drug abuse so they can keep an eye out for them,” said Patout. “These include changes in appetite, grades, sleeping patterns, mood, personal hygiene and energy level. Side effects will vary depending on what they are taking. If a parent confirms their teenager is abusing prescription drugs, they should explain that prescription drugs are not safe just because a doctor prescribed them. If they believe the drug use is habitual and becoming destructive, it is important to consult a health professional or a teen rehabilitation center. Prescription drug abuse should not be ignored or taken lightly.”

For more information on teen drug addiction and recovery, please visit http://www.newbeginningsshc.com/ or contact a New Beginnings representative at 888-706-1870.

About New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center

New Beginnings Adolescent Recovery Center, the leading teen drug rehabilitation program in the Southwest and one recognized nationwide, has been helping teens overcome addiction for more than 30 years. New Beginnings offers a continuum of care for inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization and outpatient programs, and works with private insurance providers to find the lowest costs for their patients. For more information, visit http://www.newbeginningsteenhelp.com.