Breaking News
January 15, 2019 - AHA: New Cholesterol Guidelines Put Ethnicity in the Spotlight
January 15, 2019 - Different brain areas linked to smoking and drinking
January 15, 2019 - Henry Marsh shares insights into neurosurgery and more at Dean’s Lecture Series
January 15, 2019 - Want to Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes a Day, Do Anything Else But Sit
January 15, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Targets
January 15, 2019 - Plain packaging sparked tobacco price rises, new study finds
January 15, 2019 - Sedentary lifestyles can be unhealthy, physical activity can lower risk
January 15, 2019 - Gut microbiome may help prevent development of cow’s milk allergy
January 15, 2019 - Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders
January 15, 2019 - New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Positive Results of the Pivotal Trial of Cablivi (caplacizumab) for Rare Blood Clotting Disorder
January 15, 2019 - Levels of inflammatory marker (CRP) linked to housing type and tenure
January 15, 2019 - Three gifts I’m glad I gave myself in 2018
January 15, 2019 - Columbia’s Pediatrics Department Names New Vice Chairs, Expands Leadership
January 15, 2019 - US FDA Accepts Regulatory Submissions for Review of Tafamidis to Treat Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy
January 15, 2019 - Staying fit can cut your risk of heart attack by half
January 15, 2019 - Vitamin D supplements are of no gain to those over 70, study shows
January 15, 2019 - Scientists create comprehensive new method to predict breast cancer risk
January 15, 2019 - Research shows connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making
January 15, 2019 - FDA Approves Expanded Use of Adacel (Tdap) Vaccine for Repeat Vaccination
January 15, 2019 - Treating spinal pain with replacement discs made of ‘engineered living tissue’ moves closer to reality
January 15, 2019 - Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients
January 15, 2019 - Outcomes Poorer for Medicaid Beneficiaries With STEMI
January 15, 2019 - Decorative Products on Foods Can Be Unsafe
January 15, 2019 - A dream of sustainable surgery in Uganda
January 15, 2019 - Study shows how herpes viruses and tumors have learned to manipulate the same ancient RNA
January 15, 2019 - Common Heart, Diabetes Meds May Help Ease Mental Illness
January 15, 2019 - Stress and trauma in earliest years linked to reduced hippocampal volume in adolescence
January 15, 2019 - Scientists identify endogenous activator of sigma-1 receptors in human cells
January 15, 2019 - MAR treatments unlikely to be cause of premature or low birth weight babies
January 15, 2019 - Parental CPTSD increases transmission of trauma to offspring of Tutsi genocide survivors
January 15, 2019 - High-fat diets shown to increase blood pressure
January 15, 2019 - New institute for food safety to be established in Netherlands
January 15, 2019 - Keele University researchers receive £2.4 million grant to help reduce overprescribing of opioids
January 15, 2019 - Synthetic compound reverses mutant p53 aggregate accumulation, study shows
January 15, 2019 - First elder care robot tested in a WSU smart home apartment
January 15, 2019 - Oxford researchers explore relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health
January 15, 2019 - From microbiome research to healthier and sustainable foods
January 15, 2019 - How coaching moms and dads improves infants’ language skills
January 15, 2019 - Precision health approach tapped to identify causes of poverty
January 14, 2019 - DNA origami can accurately measure how antibodies interact with several antigens
January 14, 2019 - Researchers identify multiple new subtypes of most common childhood cancer
January 14, 2019 - Total Fertility Rates Vary by State
January 14, 2019 - Elevated blood lead level in early childhood associated with increased risk of academic problems in school-aged children
January 14, 2019 - Superior technique identified that can block CRISPR gene editing
January 14, 2019 - Turning breast cancer cells into fat cells prevents the formation of metastases
January 14, 2019 - Review examines what influences HIV-positive patients to stay on antiretroviral drugs in Africa
January 14, 2019 - Identifying genetic factors that lead to squamous cell carcinoma
January 14, 2019 - Virtual video visits can replace office visits without compromising quality of care
January 14, 2019 - Health Highlights: Jan. 10, 2019
January 14, 2019 - Scientists uncover how protein clumps damage cells in Parkinson’s
January 14, 2019 - Physician-scientist’s “indomitable spirit” prevails over personal adversity
January 14, 2019 - King’s researchers receive £1.25 million to investigate fatal eating disorder
January 14, 2019 - UCR researchers uncover how plants sense temperature
January 14, 2019 - Scientists find link between colitis and colon cancer
January 14, 2019 - New skin patch provides long-acting contraceptive protection
January 14, 2019 - Asparagine synthetase deficiency – Genetics Home Reference
January 14, 2019 - Improved stem cell approach could aid fight against Parkinson’s
January 14, 2019 - New class of sleeping pill preserves ability to wake in response to danger signals
January 14, 2019 - Cancer patients are four times more likely to commit suicide
January 14, 2019 - The human brain works in reverse order to retrieve memories
January 14, 2019 - Simple tips can lead to better food choices
January 14, 2019 - Meth’s Resurgence Spotlights Lack Of Meds To Combat The Addiction
January 14, 2019 - TARA Biosystems and Insilico Medicine collaborate to discover novel therapies for cardiac disease
January 14, 2019 - Early life stress in mice affects their offspring behavior
January 14, 2019 - Depression Tied to Worse Asthma Outcomes in Urban Teens
January 14, 2019 - Santa calorie counting
January 14, 2019 - Opiod prescriptions for pet dogs misused by their masters
January 14, 2019 - People with ASD could be better at recognizing regret and relief in others finds study
January 14, 2019 - Conducting ChIP-Seq with Low Cell Numbers
January 14, 2019 - Study explores support and social networks of family carers of people with dementia
January 14, 2019 - At Risk for an Opioid OD? There’s an App for That
January 14, 2019 - Single national electronic health record will help improve care in Canadian hospitals
January 14, 2019 - Study unearths Britain’s first speech therapists
January 14, 2019 - Study reveals nuances of racial inequalities in breast cancer prevention
January 14, 2019 - Air pollution can raise the risk of miscarriage among women finds study
January 14, 2019 - An extra meal a day cuts deaths by half in elderly with hip fractures
January 14, 2019 - Researchers report vision-based neurotransmitter events for the first time
January 14, 2019 - Pharmacists could significantly reduce ED crowdedness
January 14, 2019 - PTSD linked with cardiovascular disease and cancer, study shows
January 14, 2019 - New analytic model can accurately predict patients at risk of developing PTSD
‘No Documented Reason’ for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: Study

‘No Documented Reason’ for 1 in 3 Outpatient Opioid Rxs: Study

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018 — The United States is in the grip of an epidemic of opioid painkiller addiction. But now, research shows that in nearly a third of cases there’s no medical reason documented for opioids prescribed in an outpatient setting.

The findings show the need for stricter rules on recording patients’ needs for the highly addictive drugs, the research team said.

When medical records fail to spell out the reason a patient got an opioid painkiller, this “undermines our efforts to understand physician prescribing patterns and curtails our ability to stem overprescribing,” study lead author Dr. Tisamarie Sherry said in a Harvard Medical School news release. She’s an instructor in medicine at Harvard and an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

One addiction specialist said real solutions to overprescribing are needed.

“Despite numerous policy changes, recent analyses suggest national opioid prescribing rates have not meaningfully decreased,” noted Dr. Harshal Kirane, who directs addiction services at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City.

Kirane described the rate of poorly documented prescribing seen in the study as “alarming,” suggesting that “lax prescribing practices remain widespread.”

There were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About two-thirds involved an opioid. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

In the new study, Sherry’s group tracked data on opioid prescriptions given during nearly 809 million doctor’s office visits nationwide between 2006 and 2015.

Of those prescriptions, just over 5 percent were for cancer-related pain and 66.4 percent were for treating non-cancer pain.

For the other 28.5 percent, there was no record of pain or a pain-related condition, the researchers said.

Of the prescriptions for non-cancer pain, the most common conditions included back pain, diabetes and arthritis.

Of the prescriptions with no record of pain, the most common conditions were high blood pressure, high cholesterol and opioid addiction (2.2 percent).

Prescriptions with no record of pain were more common in visits where opioid prescriptions were being renewed (30.5 percent) than in visits that involved new prescriptions (22.7 percent), the study found.

The researchers said there’s been a sharp rise in opioid prescriptions in the past 20 years — an increase that exceeds actual rates of pain in the population. It’s possible that too often, opioids are being prescribed for conditions that don’t warrant treatment with the drugs, Sherry and colleagues said.

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He’s seen the ravages of opioid addiction firsthand, and believes many cases were avoidable.

When patients come to a doctor seeking pain relief, “we have to ask ourselves why we are prescribing an opioid in the first place?” Glatter said.

“Are there other alternatives that may work, but also help reduce risks for side effects, dependence, abuse or misuse?” he said.

And even if an initial prescription of an opioid was justified, that “does not automatically justify a refill of that medication for future and ongoing care,” Glatter said.

He said even though the paperwork might be time-consuming, it’s important for physicians to record their rationale for giving someone an opioid.

Non-opioid medications and other alternative approaches must be considered, Glatter said. All of this “requires creativity and taking time to ‘think outside the box,’ ” he said. “We owe it to our patients and their families.”

The study was published Sept. 10 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription opioids.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2018

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles