“Physicians are prescribing more opioid painkillers than ever before to patients undergoing common surgeries, according to new research from the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their work is published online this week in JAMA simultaneously with a major new guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that calls on physicians to avoid over-prescription of opioids for surgical patients and other patients with painful conditions.
The new study, which included researchers from the University of Toronto, analyzed insurance claims from 2004 through 2012 for 155,297 adults undergoing four common outpatient surgeries—carpal tunnel repair, laparoscopic gall bladder removal, some minimally invasive knee surgeries, and hernia repair. In an analysis of patients who had not received an opioid prescription in the six months preceding surgery, the researchers observed that four out of every five patients in the study filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication within the seven days after surgery. The percentage of patients who got those drugs increased over for the period studied all four surgical procedures.”
Source: MedicalExpress.com – March 18, 2016