Long-Acting Opioids May Increase Risk of All-Cause Mortality

This article originally appeared here.
Share this content:
Long-Acting Opioids May Increase Risk of All-Cause Mortality
Long-Acting Opioids May Increase Risk of All-Cause Mortality

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid use may significantly increase mortality risk, according to a study published in the June 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Wayne Ray, Ph.D., from the department of health policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2012 on 22,912 patients, average age 48, who had been prescribed a long-acting opioid medication. The researchers compared that to data on an equal number of patients who had been given an alternate pain medication, including anticonvulsants and low-dose antidepressants.

During an average tracking period of about four to six months, there were 185 deaths in the opioid group versus 87 deaths in the alternate medication group. In all, the opioid group was found to face a 64 percent increased risk of death due to any reason, the team found. But the opioid patients also faced a 65 percent increased risk of death specifically related to new cardiovascular complications.

The study authors concluded that alternate pain medications should be favored over long-acting opioids whenever possible, particularly for those patients who have a history of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or diabetes. "Our opinion, which is consistent with the recent guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is that opioids should be used as a last resort," Ray told HealthDay. "The best way to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks is through a careful practitioner-patient discussion."

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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

CDC: Too Many Health Care Workers Not Getting Flu Vaccine

CDC: Too Many Health Care Workers Not Getting ...

Vaccination protects both workers and patients

Early Mobilization Improves Outcomes, LOS in Surgical ICUs

Early Mobilization Improves Outcomes, LOS in Surgical ICUs

Patients discharged sooner, become more functional when they leave the hospital

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »