Powerful Painkillers Need a Warning Label

Jan 24, 2017 by

With lives on the line, we still have no note of caution on opioid packaging — why?

by Carleen Wild

“Opioid painkillers can cause addiction and overdose.”

If these words were on the label of the pain medications you take, would you be less likely to take them — or might you take them with an added dose of caution?

Health officials in Canada are hoping it’s at least a start as they pursue unprecedented measures to curb the use of powerful painkillers, Reuters reported.

Starting next month, Health Canada plans to publish a detailed proposal for stickers that would warn of addiction and overdose. The stickers would be similar to cigarette-style warning stickers and they would go on every prescription. Further proposals scheduled for later this spring would outline how opioids should and should not be used, according to the Health Minister Jane Philpott.

Related: Quit Giving Kids Access to Your Meds

Fatal overdoses have risen 40 percent across Canada in just the past six years; in the province of Saskatchewan, the overdoses more than doubled since 2010, mirroring the trends in the U.S., Reuters reported. The rise in powerful variations of fentanyl actually fueled an 80-percent increase in deaths last year in British Columbia — to a record 914.

Philpott called the opioid epidemic “the nation’s greatest public health crisis” and promised to do everything possible to fix it.

Source: Powerful Painkillers Need a Warning Label | LifeZette

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