Doctors may prescribe opioids more after surgery

Robert Preidt. By
healthday reporter

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Many patients who are prescribed drugs can achieve the same level after surgery pain Relief from non-opioid alternatives, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen without the risk of Addiction, say the researchers.

Lead author Dr. Ryan Howard said, “Opioids have been a routine part of postsurgical pain care for decades, but the risks associated with its frequent use are well documented.” Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

“Maybe it is time to make them the exception, not the rule,” he noted in a university news release.

Howard and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 22,000 patients who had one of these common types of surgery — gynecological, herniahandjob gall bladderhandjob contract, bowel or thyroid.

Opioids were prescribed to 86% of patients; 14% received prescriptions for non-opioid painkillers.

The study found that within 30 days, 12% of patients in both groups had complications, emergency department visits, or re-surgery.


The researchers found that patients receiving non-opioids were slightly more likely to be re-admitted to the hospital, but rarely because of pain-related issues.

There was no difference between the two groups in the percentage of patients seeking emergency care for pain.

About 6 out of 10 patients completed a survey about their pain in the week after leaving the hospital and other post-surgery issues.

Eighty percent of patients in both the opioid and non-opioid groups said they were satisfied with their care and 93% had no regrets about having surgery.

Patients in the non-opioid group were more likely to report being pain-free in the first week after surgery, however, compared with the opioid group (12% vs. 7%).

They were also more likely to say they had the best possible quality of life after surgery (66% versus 63%), according to findings recently published in the journal History of surgery.

“This study clearly shows no difference in pain, major adverse events, or patient-centered outcomes when opioids are not prescribed,” said senior author Dr. Mark Bickett, a pain medicine specialist and co-director of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network. Michigan Open).


He said evidence about the risks of opioid drugs for patients and others who may abuse pills left over from a patient’s prescription, as well as evidence of their relative effectiveness for pain control, should be considered.

In a related study, researchers at Michigan Open analyzed national insurance claims data on patients who were not taking opioids prior to surgery.

They found that between 4% and 7% of patients who had surgery required a hospital stay and that 1.5% to 6.4% of patients who had outpatient surgery took opioid prescriptions months after any surgical pain ended. were filled.

Patients with this new persistent opioid use received more hospitalization and emergency care in the year following surgery than those who received it immediately after their operation, according to the study led by Dr. Chad Brammett, co-director of Michigan Open. After that not a single opioid prescription was filled.

in the June issue Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy, Brammett’s team reported that patients who began taking opioids after surgery received five times more opioid prescriptions and had much higher overall health care costs than other patients.


more information

The US National Institute on Drug Abuse has more prescription opioids.

Source: Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan, news release, June 10, 2021


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