The CDC is warning doctors to be careful when prescribing prescription painkillers to their patients. A new statistic shows the number of women who died from prescription drug overdose rose 400 percent in the past decade.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors to be even more careful when prescribing prescription painkillers to their patients. New statistics from the CDC show the number of women who died from prescription pain medication overdoses rose 400 percent between 1999 and 2010. The report says during that time nearly 48,000 women died overdosing on pain medication including Vicodin and Oxycontin. In 2010, more than 200,000 women visited the emergency room for opioid misuse or abuse. That's four times as many who died from cocaine and heroin combined.
The report finds prescription pain medication overdoses are also on the rise for men, but not as sharply as for women. Previous research has shown that women are more likely to have chronic pain, to be prescribed painkillers, and to be given higher doses of the medication. Studies also show women may become dependent on prescription pain medication more quickly than men.
Health experts say there are steps women can take to stay safe from prescription pain medication overdoses. Make sure to only take the medication as indicated on the prescription bottle and ask the pharmacist any questions you may have. When you are finished taking the medication, properly dispose of it and do not save it for another time. Remember to discuss all medications with your pharmacist and doctor.
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