Initial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use

Share this content:
Initial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use
Initial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who limit the supply of opioids they prescribe to three days or less may help patients reduce their risk of dependence and addiction, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers looked at a sample of patients drawn from data from health insurers and managed care plans. Specifically, they looked at opioid use among patients not being treated for cancer. Among patients without cancer, a single day's supply of an opioid can result in 6.0 percent of patients being on an opioid a year later, the researchers said.

The odds of long-term opioid use increased most sharply in the first days of therapy, particularly after five days of taking the drugs. The rate of long-term opioid use increased to 13.5 percent for patients who first took the drugs for eight days or more. The highest probability of continued opioid use at one and three years was seen among patients who started on a long-acting opioid, followed by patients who started on tramadol.

"Awareness among prescribers, pharmacists, and persons managing pharmacy benefits that authorization of a second opioid prescription doubles the risk for opioid use one year later might deter overprescribing of opioids. Knowledge that the risks for chronic opioid use increase with each additional day supplied might help clinicians evaluate their initial opioid prescribing decisions and potentially reduce the risk for long-term opioid use," the authors write. "Discussions with patients about the long-term use of opioids to manage pain should occur early in the opioid prescribing process."

More Information

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

Progress Made on Genetic Test for Anal Cancer

Progress Made on Genetic Test for Anal Cancer

But research is still in early stages

Four Separate Events Led to Zika's Introduction Into Florida

Four Separate Events Led to Zika's Introduction Into ...

Virus strains came from the Caribbean and Latin America, researchers say

New Health Care Act Could Result in 23 Million Losing Insurance

New Health Care Act Could Result in 23 ...

While premiums may lower over the long-term, many would face much higher out-of-pocket costs

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »