(incorporating eIMA News)
17th March 2016
Editorial (Dr SS Agarwal, Dr K K Aggarwal)
IMA guidelines to restrict opioid prescribing
  • The latest CDC guidelines endorsed by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) focus on chronic pain except for cancer and end-of-life care. Every day in US alone, over 40 people die from overdoses of opioid painkillers. In 2014, these deaths surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 cause of injury-related deaths.
  • Use of opioids such as Oxycodone and codeine is a leading cause of death in young adults. Among those individuals aged between 25 and 34 years, approximately one out of every eight deaths is related to opioid overdoses. Each year, 2 million people in US alone abuse or misuse the drugs.
  • Management of chronic pain is an art. For the vast majority of patients, the known, serious, and too-often fatal risks far outweigh the unproven and transient benefits
  • Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than three months. IMA recommends that doctors try other treatments, prescribing ibuprofen, referring a patient to a physical therapist or using injection treatments, before prescribing opioids.
  • IMA recommends limiting opioid prescriptions to people who have cancer, are receiving end-of-life or palliative care, or are suffering with serious illnesses. 
  • GPs write the vast majority of prescriptions for painkillers (about 50%).
  • IMA recommends that doctors prescribe opioids only after other therapies have failed and rely on the lowest possible doses.
  • IMA also suggests that short-term treatment, typically just 3 days, but sometimes 7 days, is far more preferable than long-term use. Patients who take opioids for extended periods are much more likely to become addicted. It is also a concern that more people may turn to heroin if opioids are harder to obtain
  • It is not true that Oxycodone is less addictive than other pain medications
  • Most placebo-controlled, randomized trials of opioids have lasted 6 weeks or less.
  • Doctors should also read and know how to manage addiction, including offering naloxone, a drug that reverses an overdose, or buprenorphine or methandone, both of which are used to treat addiction.
  • Oxycodone (poor man’s heroin) abuse is the most common. With its heroin-like effects, the prescription drug is not only popular for recreational use, but is also very dangerous. Oxycodone is extremely addictive and it doesn't take much to overdose on oxycodone and without immediate attention, it can lead to death. On a global scale, 100,000 people die from oxycodone abuse per year.
  • Combining lorazepam, alcohol and oxycodone can be deadly
  • Derived from opium poppy seeds, opioids primarily include prescription painkillers and heroin. Synthetic opioids include popular prescription drugs like Oxycontin (Oxycodone), Vicodin (Hydrocodone) and Duragesic (Fentanyl).
  • Combined with their highly-addictive nature, opioids are dangerous because a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death.
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Press Release
IMA PvPI Issues Drug Alert
New Delhi, March 16, 2016: IMA today released drug adverse reactions in relation to five common drugs used in clinical practice.



Adverse Reaction


Generalized tonic-clonic seizures; partialseizures; status epilepticus



Generalized tonic-clonic seizures; partialseizures; status epilepticus




Risk of ulcer complication


Schizophrenia, acute mania episodes inbipolar disorder



Locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that is anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)

Risk of cardiac failure

Dr SS Agarwal National President and Dr K K Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA, in a statement said that IMA has communicated to its 2.5 lac doctor members to closely monitor the possibility of the above adverse events while prescribing above suspected drugs and report to the IMA PvPI hotline 9717776514.
IMA PvPI initiative monitors adverse drug reactions which can be known or unknown, serious or not serious. 
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IMA Updates
IMA Starts Nodal center for adverse drug reactions

IMA PvPI Initiative has started a nodal center at IMA headquarters. All IMA members can now report adverse reactions to drugs, vaccines, medical devices, Blood products and herbal products at IMA PvPI helpline 9717776514, open Monday to Friday 9-5.30PM
IMA Polio Dates
  • April 1st: tOPV would not be available after this date.
  • April 11th: bOPV would be available in private market but it is not to be opened or used before 25th April.
  • April 25: IMA Polio Switch Day, when tOPV would be completely withdrawn and replaced by bOPV in both routine immunization and polio campaigns.
  • 9th May: IMA National Validation Day when India would be declared free of tOPV. 

IMA Satyagraha - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV1zCH33BlU

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eIMA News Update
Digital IMA
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) presents a series of weekly webcasts for the benefit of the Indian medical profession, engaging you with the latest in advocacy efforts for doctors, through an interactive exclusive digital webcast partnership with eMediNexus.

Next Webcast: 17th
 March 2016
Topic: Tuberculosis
Faculty: Dr Rupak Singla, Head, Dept. of TB & Respiratory Diseases, National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases.