Nav: Home

Policy intended to curb opioid prescribing associated with increase in filled opioid prescriptions after surgery

August 22, 2018

Bottom Line: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2014 moved to limit prescribing of pain medications containing the opioid hydrocodone from schedule III (a class of controlled substances) to the more restrictive schedule II. As a result, commonly prescribed formulations of hydrocodone were limited to a 90-day supply and could no longer be prescribed by telephone or fax. This analysis examined opioid prescriptions filled by about 22,000 privately insured patients who had common elective surgical procedures from 2012 to 2015 in Michigan. Researchers found that changing hydrocodone to the more restrictive schedule II was associated with an increase in the amount of opioids filled in the initial prescription after surgery. Most of the increase was accounted for by hydrocodone, which was the most commonly prescribed opioid following surgery. Date were drawn from a single state so the study observations may not be generalizable to other regions. Future efforts aimed at curbing opioid prescribing should include prescriber education and follow-up to make sure corresponding reductions in opioid prescribing result.

Authors: Jennifer Waljee, M.D., M.P.H., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors

To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.

Related material: The JAMA Surgery study, "Association of the Use of a Mandatory Prescription Drug Monitoring Program With Prescribing Practices for Patients Undergoing Elective Surgery," by Richard J. Barth Jr., M.D., Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and coauthors is also available on the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.2651)

Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
-end-
Want to embed a link to this study in your story? Link will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/fullarticle/10.1001/jamasurg.2018.2651

JAMA Surgery

Related Surgery Articles:

Colorectal surgery patients use fewer opioids, report less pain with enhanced recovery after surgery
Colorectal surgery patients who were a part of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program had less pain, while using nearly half as many opioids, according to research being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting.
Video assisted lung surgery reduces complications and hospital stays compared to open surgery
Video-assisted thoracic surgery is associated with lower in-hospital complications and shorter length of stay compared with open surgery among British patients who were diagnosed at an early stage of lung cancer, according to research presented today the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.
Most deaths related to noncardiac surgery occur after surgery and after discharge from hospital
It's not the operating room that is risky for patients undergoing noncardiac surgery; it's the recovery period.
Study looks at opioid use after knee surgery
A small study looked at whether reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed after knee surgery would reduce postoperative use and if preoperative opioid-use education would reduce it even more.
Surgery patients are getting older every year
A new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) analysis reveals that people undergoing surgery in England are getting older at a faster rate than the general population.
Children requiring thyroid surgery have better outcomes at high-volume surgery centers
New research recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery found that post-operative success rates of pediatric thyroid patients, particularly children who require a thyroidectomy, correlate with the institution's patient volume.
Do negative public attitudes toward weight loss surgery stop some patients from having surgery?
Most patients who qualify for weight loss surgery don't have the procedure despite its safety and effectiveness.
For spinal fusion surgery patients, taking opioids before surgery is major risk factor for long-term opioid use
Patients taking opioids for at least three months before spinal fusion surgery in the lower spine are much more likely to continue taking opioids one year after surgery, reports a study in Spine.
Robotic surgery as effective as open surgery for bladder cancer
Robotic surgery is as effective as traditional open surgery in treating bladder cancer, according to a landmark study published in the journal Lancet.
Spine surgery patients less likely to be opioid dependent after surgery
Spine surgeons and researchers at UofL, concerned about potential opioid misuse resulting from pain management related to surgery, have discovered positive news in a study of back surgery patients.
More Surgery News and Surgery Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.