ED use of opioid tramadol for back pain doubled from 2007 to 2016

Although use of opioids to treat back pain patients coming to the emergency department decreased overall from 2007 to 2016, the use of one opioid, tramadol, doubled, new research shows, according to MedPage Today.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, an annual survey conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. The survey assesses patients who come to the ED with neck or back conditions, among other factors.

The number of ED visits for back pain grew from 8.1 million in 2007 to 10.5 million in 2016. Overall, use of opioids to treat back pain in the ED declined, from 53.5 percent in 2007 to 46.5 percent in 2016.

But the use of tramadol rose from 4.1 percent in 2007 to 8.4 percent in 2016.

Researchers presented their findings at the American Academy of Pain Medicine's annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., from Feb. 26 to March 1.

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