Pain Pill Use
August 20, 2007, 5:26 PM
Americans are apparently living a life of pain and popping pills at an alarming rate to cope with it. And there's a new warning for nursing mothers.
First, the dramatic rise in our use of painkillers. According to statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the amount of five major painkillers sold at pharmacies has nearly doubled--up more than 90-percent-- since 1997. All tolled that adds up to more than 200-thousand pounds of codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone and demerol that was purchased during 2005. That's enough to give more than 300 milligrams of painkillers to every man, woman and child in the United States.
According to the numbers, oxycodone, the chemical used in oxycontin is responsible for most of the increase. Use of oxycodone has jumped nearly six-fold since 1997. South Dakota's rate jumped a whopping 844 percent during the same time period.
So what's behind the increase? According to doctors, the population is getting older and as age increases, so does the demand for pain medications. In addition, drug makers have conducted unprecedented marketing campaigns which have more people demanding a higher level of pain relief.
Meanwhile, it's hydrocodone, or codeine, that's causing concern for nursing mothers. The Food and Drug Administration is concerned that nursing infants may be at an increased risk for a morphine overdose if their mothers are taking codeine while breastfeeding and are what is being referred to as "ultra-rapid metabolizers" of the drug. Codeine is sometimes used to treat episiotomy pain and once metabolized, is converted to morphine in the body. As a result, the FDA is now warning nursing mothers is not to take codeine or to take the lowest dose possible while breastfeeding their babies.
The warning comes after a report that a 13-day old infant died as a result of a morphine overdose after nursing while his mother was taking codeine. Codeine is generally considered the safest pain reliever for nursing women and their babies.
© 2007 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.
3/5/2014 9:55 PM
The kids were ready to start class with a substitute teacher, but then she left the room, and things went horribly wrong.
3/7/2014 10:01 AM
Yankton Police Chief Brian Paulsen says authorities caught up with Joshua Charles Hudson Friday morning.
3/4/2014 11:59 AM
A 22-year-old Sioux Falls man who admitted to texting and driving and killing a motorcyclist in the summer of 2012 will be sentenced Tuesday afternoon...
3/5/2014 5:42 PM
Parents are shocked at what allegedly happened inside an art class in Redfield after a teenager is left in charge.
3/7/2014 12:05 PM
State officials say one-year-old Adryan Jones died on Wednesday from injuries received in a two-vehicle crash Monday, February 24.