Background: Nonfatal opioid overdose is an opportunity to identify and treat substance use disorders, but treatment patterns after the overdose are unknown.
Objective: To determine prescribed opioid dosage after an opioid overdose and its association with repeated overdose.
Participants: 2848 commercially insured patients aged 18 to 64 years who had a nonfatal opioid overdose during long-term opioid therapy for noncancer pain between May 2000 and December 2012.
Results: Over a median follow-up of 299 days, opioids were dispensed to 91% of patients after an overdose. Seven percent of patients (n = 212) had a repeated opioid overdose. At 2 years, the cumulative incidence of repeated overdose was 17% (95% CI, 14% to 20%) for patients receiving high dosages of opioids after the index overdose, 15% (CI, 10% to 21%) for those receiving moderate dosages, 9% (CI, 6% to 14%) for those receiving low dosages, and 8% (CI, 6% to 11%) for those receiving no opioids.
Conclusion: Almost all patients continue to receive prescription opioids after an overdose. Opioid discontinuation after overdose is associated with lower risk for repeated overdose.
Read more at: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2479117
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine – January 5, 2016