WEDNESDAY, November 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Surgeons usually use only a quarter of the opioids they are prescribed for…
WEDNESDAY, November 7, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Surgeons usually use only a quarter of the opioids they are prescribed for postoperative pain, a new study finds.
And the remaining pills pose a risk of addiction, addiction and overdose, says researchers at the University of Michigan.
“It’s striking to see the big difference between the prescribed amount and the amount of patients actually taking,” says senior writer Dr Joceline Vu. She is a surgical resident and researcher at Michigan Medicine.
“This is not a phenomenon of any outlier surgeons ̵
1; it was seen over the state and over many operations,” noted Vu in a university perspective.  In the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,400 patients who had one of 12 common types of surgery at 33 hospitals in Michigan. On average, patients took only 27% of opioids (for example, OxyContin) as prescribed for them. For each additional 10 pills, however, the patients were prescribed five.
The median number of prescription pills was 30 and the median number used was nine, the researchers found.
Patients who had a rupture surgery – either open or minimally invasive surgery – took most of the opioids, while those who had their supplement or thyroid gland took the least, observed results.
But the size of the opioid recipe was a more important factor in how many pills a patient took than their pain lengths, the intensity of their surgery and personal factors, the study writers said.
According to the study, the first author Dr Ryan Howard, “What we tell patients about the type of pain to be expected after surgery, and how many pills we give, we set our expectations – and what the patient expects to play a big role in their post-operative pain experience. If they have 60 pain relieving pills, they think they have to take many of them.
Howard, a surgical citizen with Michigan Medicine, added: “We hope that by shining a headlamp on the difference between the recipe size and Actual use can give surgeons the opportunity to change their prescribing habits and be a better manager for their both patient and wider society. “
The report was published on November 7th in the journal JAMA Surgery .