CRPS/RSD, Drugs, etc. in the News

Unfortunately, our illness doesn't make the mainstream news very often, but when it does, if I find it, it'll wind up here. If anyone reading this runs across any newspaper article, flier, etc. relevant to our illness, PLEASE send it to me! Actually, just emailing me a link to the article in the publication would be perfect! Thanks very much!

These news items are listed in reverse chronological order; i.e., the most recent are at the top of the list.

Here is a series of headlines from Medical News Today, which is updated many times/day:

Multi-part series on CRPS/RSD on "The Doctors" this show has its strong and weak points, as most do, but their four-part series on CRPS/RSD is worth checking out. It's a series of interviews with a woman whose 19-year CRPS has taught her much abourt dealing with chronic illness.

Understanding Chronic Pain as a Disease of the Brain a very good article from MedPageToday, summarizing how neural plasticity can cause changes: "A clear distinction exists between the effects of acute versus chronic pain on the brain, with chronic pain provoking structural changes in multiple regions of the brain that are involved in cognitive and emotional pain processing"

Navigating the Murky World of Neuropathic Pain a newspaper piece talking about ketamine, the new drug that shows promise for alleviating chronic pain.

Ketamine Infusion "This pain management guideline was written by the staff of the Children's Pain Management Service for the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. " The use of ketamine in other medically-advanced countries is escalating at a very quick pace.

Prescriber Checkup "Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program now serves more than 35 million people, but the names of prescribers and the drugs they choose have never previously been public. Use this tool to find and compare doctors and other top prescribers in 2010. " This is a really fascinating tool!

Workers' compensation, SSD may be an option for chronic pain sufferers wrfitten by a group of attorneys in Minneapolis who are clearly looking for clients with CRPS who have not been treated legally.

Another Infection Outbreak Tied to a Compounding Pharmacy "SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Seven patients injected with corticosteroids from a Tennessee compounding pharmacy have fallen ill, including at least one case of apparent fungal infection, the FDA said."

The War Over Prescription Painkillers a three-part story by investigative journalist Radley Balko for Huffington Post, important reading for anyone who relies on prescription medications to live comfortably: Part One - The War Over Prescription Painkillers; Part Two - The New Panic Over Prescription Painkillers; Part Three - Painkiller Access Debated as Patients Suffer.

CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (pdf) The MMWR, as those in the business call it, is a weekly publication by the CDC that summarizes the previous week's news about factors which have caused people to become ill (morbidity) or die. The leadoff article in this particular issue is "Community-Based Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs Providing Naloxone".

Chronic Pain Fuels Boom in Opioids (pdf) Written by some reporter in Milwaukee, the leadoff sentence in this article states that, over the past decade, sufficient narcotic scripts were written to medicate every adult in the US for a month. WHAT?? This is the kind of sensational, meaningless "statistic" which is there only to paint a very depressing picture, which was the goal of this piece. They even spend a lot of space discussing the non-existent problem of addiction among pain patients. A sensationalistic piece by someone with a conclusion in search of support.

Follow the Money: Pain, Policy, and Profit (pdf) by the same writer as the above piece, this one claims that the increase in opioid scripts over the past 10-15 tears is from health organizations like the American Pain Foundation and even the Federation of State Medical Boards. He claims that these organizations take large sums of cash from opioid drug manufacturers to artificially downplay opioids' dangers and encourage greater prescribing. Irresponsible, hack writing at its worst by someone whose ignorance of the field is so obvious he should be embarrassed.

Herbal Medicines and Anaesthesia (pdf) This one's a very good article about the plethora of herbs, supplements, etc. that many people use. The problem is that many folks equate "natural" with "safe" (they're NOT equal), and don't bother mentioning these to a physician who asks what drugs they take. If you're headed for surgery, several supplements can cause very serious reactions with some anesthetics; in fact, you can die. If you take any herbs or supplements for any reason, please read this article. It could save your life someday.

Living With Pain - Questions and Answers - ABC News (new tab/window) for a news organization, ABC has published a large, very useful site which is in a Q&A format. Section titles include Can I Drive If I Am Taking Pain Killers?, Are All Prescription Pain Meds Addictive?, and Do Kids Feel Pain The Same As Adults?. The last section is a basic primer called Get the basics on pain from the experts. Check out this site - you'll be pleasantly surprised!