GPs asked to hold back pregabalin/gabapentin prescriptions, inactivity worse than obesity and a suspected case of ebola in Northampton
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines
Drug workers have called on GPs to issue fewer prescriptions for pregabalin and gabapentin following reports of growing abuse of the drugs, says the Telegraph.
The charity Drugscope say that the medicines, which are used to treat epilepsy, pain and anxiety, are increasingly being used as recreational drugs alongside alcohol and opiates.
Experts say that misuse of the drugs causes extreme intoxication and risky behaviours in users, can lead to ‘drowsiness, sedation, respiratory failure and death’ when used in conjunction with other depressants.
Drugscope’s report said: ‘A drug worker estimated that in one homeless hostel in Bristol, 70% of residents were using pregabalin, with only some being prescribed the drug.’
Inactivity could be killing twice as many people as obesity, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge.
Researchers say that around 676,000 deaths per year could be put down to a lack of routine physical exercise, while around 337,000 could be blamed on obesity.
The two conditions often go hand in hand, but it is thought that obese people who exercise are still better off health-wise than thin people who do not.
The researchers have recommended that doing 20 minutes of brisk walking every day would have substantial benefits for patients of any size, according to the BBC.
And a hospital in Northampton has confirmed this morning that it is treating a woman with a suspected case of Ebola.
The Independent reports that the woman, who had recently travelled abroad, is undergoing tests at Northampton General Hospital.