KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

‘I Need Medicine For This Pain’: The Landmines Of Treating Someone Addicted To Opioids

There's no definitive guidance for doctors on what to do when their patient is someone who is in recovery from an opioid addiction, but also in need of pain relief. In other public health news: antidepressants, mysterious diseases, antibiotic-resistant infections, stress in kids and sexual enhancement pills.

NPR: Opioid Addiction Complicates Pain Relief After Surgery
Nearly one and a half million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy. (Lemoult, 4/20)

The Washington Post: Antidepressants Not As Harmful During Pregnancy As Previously Thought, A New Study Shows
Women who take antidepressants early in pregnancy are not at a higher risk of having children who develop autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), contrary to earlier reports, a study published Tuesday found. The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found only a slight increase in the risk of premature birth for infants of mothers who used antidepressants during the first trimester of their pregnancy. But the researchers found no increase in the risk of autism, ADHD or reduced fetal growth among children exposed to antidepressants during fetal development. (Naqvi, 4/19)

Kaiser Health News: Stalking The ‘Unknown Enemy’: Doctors Turn Scope On Rare Diseases
Lynn Whittaker stood in the hallway of her home looking at the framed photos on the wall. In one, her son, Andrew, is playing high school water polo. In another, he’s holding a trombone. The images show no hint of his life today: the seizures that leave him temporarily paralyzed, the weakness that makes him fall over, his labored speech, his scrambled thoughts. Andrew, 28, can no longer feed himself or walk on his own. The past nine years have been a blur of doctor appointments, hospital visits and medical tests that have failed to produce answers. (Gorman, 4/20)

St. Louis Public Radio: What You Should Know About The Rising Problem Of Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic-resistant infection is a rising issue in American society and thousands of people die each year when they develop infections that no antibiotic can control... A person is most vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infection in the hospital, because that is a place that is more likely to harbor bacteria that has become resistant … and people in the hospital are more vulnerable and unable to fight the infection off. (Moffitt, 4/19)

Miami Herald: These Sexual Enhancement Pills Recalled Due To Problem Ingredients
From A to Zrect, Organic Herbal Supply has recalled its sexual assistance pills for men and women. The men’s pills — Uproar, Monkey Business, Zrect, Rectalis, Cummor, Tornado, ZDaily, Enhancerol, BigNHard — all contain tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis. While tadalafil is FDA-approved for dealing with male erectile dysfunction, the recall notice says, “the presence of tadalafil in these male enhancement products renders it an unapproved drug for which safety and efficacy have not been established and, therefore, subject to recall.” (Neal, 4/19)

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