Opioid dosage variability may hike OD risk, study finds

Inconsistency in opioid dosing could be a risk factor for opioid overdose, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers conducted the study at a Colorado-based integrated health plan and delivery system from Jan. 1, 2006, through June 30, 2018. They included 14,898 patients, of which 228 were opioid overdose patients matched to 3,547 control patients.

The researchers found high dose variability in opioid prescription was linked to a significantly higher risk of overdose compared with low dose variability.

The mean duration of opioid therapy was 36.7 months for overdose patients and 33 month for control patients.

"The findings suggest that when managing long-term opioid therapy, practitioners should consider the risk of overdose associated with dose variability," study authors wrote.

More articles on opioids:
Artful protest: 800-pound heroin spoon with FDA logo left outside HHS office
Atrium Health joins state HHS, DOJ in opioid education campaign
New York sues 6 opioid manufacturers, 4 distributors, the Sacklers

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