25 papers in two months. Anyone want to help with this?
1) Naloxone therapy in opioid overdose patients: intranasal or intravenous? A randomized clinical trial.
Sabzghabaee AM, Eizadi-Mood N, Yaraghi A, Zandifar S.
Arch Med Sci. 2014 May 12;10(2):309-14. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2014.42584. Epub 2014 May 13.
PMID: 24904666 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
Comments: More data to support the utility of intranasal naloxone for overdose reversal. There are, however, some odd findings that suggest caution in interpreting the paper. The authors used 0.4mg of naloxone for IV or IN administration, whereas most efforts utilize 2mg for IN administration given the lower bioavailability. Moreover, they had a higher level of consciousness in the IN group, which seems odd.
Rambod M, Elhanafi S, Mukherjee D.
Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol. 2014 Jun 5. doi: 10.1111/anec.12171. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 24903622 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Comments: There are cases in which opioids can result in unstable heart rhythms. Usually this is related to high dose methadone, prolongation of the QT interval and torsades de pointes. In this case, heroin plus alcohol may have resulted in electrical conduction similar to “Brugada syndrome” which, in the interest of having an image in this blog post, I’ve posted an image of here. This type of electrical conduction is usually genetic and can result in sudden death through lethal arrhythmias.
Clark AK, Wilder CM, Winstanley EL.
J Addict Med. 2014 May-Jun;8(3):153-63. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000034.
PMID: 24874759 [PubMed - in process]
Comments: An impressive review of existing data for naloxone programs. Big kudos to the authors.
4) Intravenous methadone application as a serious risk factor for an overdose death: methadone-related fatalities in Hamburg from 2007 to 2012.
Iwersen-Bergmann S, Jungen H, Andresen-Streichert H, Müller A, Elakkary S, Püschel K, Heinemann A.
Int J Legal Med. 2014 May 25. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 24859230 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Comments: Interesting analysis of methadone-related deaths among methadone maintenance patients suggesting that, while overdose deaths are not common, many may have been related to IV use of methadone.
5) Abnormal intracellular calcium homeostasis associated with vulnerability in the nerve cells from heroin-dependent rat.
Liu X, Wang G, Pu H, Jing H.
Brain Res. 2014 Jul 14;1572:40-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.05.016. Epub 2014 May 20.
PMID: 24854119 [PubMed - in process]
Comments: Intriguing analysis of rat brains suggesting a key role of calcium in neurotoxicity related to heroin use. Do medications like verapamil, generally used to manage hypertension, have a role in preventing neurologic damage from opioids and perhaps even reducing overdose risk?
Wang KH, Fiellin DA, Becker WC.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Jul;40(4):292-303. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2014.907301. Epub 2014 May 22.
PMID: 24853143 [PubMed - in process]
Comments: Around a fifth of people using prescription opioids “non-medically” get them directly from a physician.