Quantity of opioids prescribed linked to use after surgery

Higher quantity of opioid prescriptions may result in increased opioid consumption among patients after surgery, according to a study published in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers conducted the retrospective, population-based study across 33 health systems in Michigan. The population studied included adults, 18 years and older, undergoing surgery who were prescribed an opioid postoperatively. They studied 2,392 patients who underwent one of 12 surgical procedures.

The study shows the quantity of opioids prescribed was significantly higher than patient-reported opioid consumption. For every 10 extra pills prescribed, patients took an additional five pills.

Researchers found that pain scores, history of tobacco use; American Society of Anesthesiologists class; age; procedure type; and inpatient surgery status were also significant risk factors for postoperative opioid consumption.

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