Eureka Alert

Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at [email protected] or 215-351-2653. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information.

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1. Opioid use increases risk for serious invasive pneumococcal infections


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Opioid use is associated with a significantly increased risk for serious invasive pneumococcal infections, such as pneumonia and meningitis. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

As opioid use has increased in the U.S., the safety of prescription opioids has come under further scrutiny. In animal studies, use of certain opioids has been associated with increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, including infectious due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pathogen that causes invasive pneumococcal disease. Invasive pneumococcal disease includes bacteremia, meningitis, and invasive pneumonia, all of which are associated with high mortality. Although those associations have been well established in animal experiments, it is important to understand the risk of serious infections among humans taking prescription opioid analgesics.

Researchers from The Vanderbilt University Medical Center used data from the Tennessee Medicaid database linked to Medicare and Active Bacterial Core


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