24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Pain Management
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Steroid Shots Offer No Long-Term Relief for Low-Back PainInitial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid UseOpioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few DaysOpioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: StudyDiazepam Not Beneficial for Acute Low Back Pain in ERKids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at HomeChronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: StudySome Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse EpidemicTry Drug-Free Options First for Low Back Pain, New Guidelines SayTwelve Percent of Women Fill Opioid Rx After Vaginal DeliveryLow Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try YogaOpioids and Alcohol a Dangerous CocktailTreatment of Hips Beneficial in Patients With Low Back PainCommon Painkillers Don't Ease Back Pain, Study FindsHigh Pain Tolerance Tied to 'Silent' Heart Attack RiskWhat You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid PainkillerDiscussing Opioid Risks With Patients Reduces MisuseVitamin D Replacement Improves Chronic Widespread PainCelebrex May Not Pose Bigger Heart Risk Than Similar Drugs: StudyMany Take Opioids Reluctantly for Back Pain: Survey'Fake Pills' May Help Ease Back PainHealth Tip: Need Pain Relief?DEA Puts Quota on Production of Opioid PainkillersRisk of Opioid Addiction Up 37 Percent Among Young U.S. AdultsCould Prescribed NSAID Painkillers Raise Heart Failure Risk?Opioid Epidemic Costs U.S. $78.5 Billion Annually: CDCReview Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without MedsFDA: Opioids Plus Sedatives Pose Fatal OD RiskNon-addictive Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal TrialsNighttime Sleep Disturbance Common in Chronic PainCannabis Provides More Pain Relief for Men Than WomenStudy Finds Links Between Chronic Pain, Depression in CouplesAddiction Risk Low for Seniors Taking Post-Op Opioids: StudyDoctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No RefillsPain Raises Risk of Opioid AddictionCommon Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: StudyDoes Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?Programs to Spot Painkiller Abuse Work, But Are UnderusedTighter Opioid Laws in U.S. Haven't Eased MisuseLong-Acting Opioids May Increase Risk of All-Cause MortalityOpioid Painkillers Raise Deadly Heart Risks for Some: StudyPatients Often Prescribed Extra Painkillers, Many Share ThemNew Synthetic Drug Linked to Dozens of Deaths Across U.S.Opioid Prescriptions Drop for First Time in Two DecadesChronic Pain May Trigger Many Cases of Painkiller Addiction: SurveyPainkiller Addiction Relapse More Likely for SomeObama Administration Steps Up Efforts to Beat Painkiller, Heroin EpidemicHealth Tip: Things That Can Aggravate Arthritis Pain
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Medical Disorders
Mental Disorders

Common Surgeries Raise Risk for Opioid Dependence: Study

HealthDay News
by -- HealthDay staff
Updated: Jul 11th 2016

new article illustration

MONDAY, July 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- After knee surgery and other common operations, patients have an elevated risk of growing dependent on opioid painkillers, a new study finds.

These prescription painkillers include hydrocodone (Vycodin, Lortab), oxycodone (OxyContin) and fentanyl, the narcotic implicated in the April 21 death of rock legend Prince.

"For a lot of surgeries there is a higher chance of getting hooked on painkillers," said study author Dr. Eric Sun, an instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif.

But Sun cautioned that the finding isn't a reason to avoid surgery.

"The message isn't that you shouldn't have surgery," said Sun. "Rather, there are things that anesthesiologists can do to reduce the risk by finding other ways of controlling the pain and using replacements for opioids when possible."

For the study, the researchers examined medical claims of patients following 11 common surgical procedures from 2001-2013.

They compared claims from nearly 642,000 privately insured surgical patients, aged 18 to 64, with those of 18 million nonsurgical patients.

Patients defined as chronic opioid users filled 10 or more prescriptions or got more than a 120-day supply in the first year after the operation, excluding the first three months post-surgery.

Knee surgery patients were about five times more likely to become chronic opioid users compared to patients who didn't undergo surgery, the study found. Gall bladder patients also had a high rate: They were 3.5 times more likely to become chronic opioid users.

"We also found an increased risk among women following cesarean section, which was somewhat concerning since it is a very common procedure," Sun said. For these women, the rate was 28 percent higher.

The study was published July 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

When possible, Sun prefers to use regional anesthetics to reduce the need for opioids following surgery, he said in a journal news release. He also encourages use of pain-management alternatives such as Tylenol after surgery.

More information

For more about painkillers after surgery, see the American Academy of Family Physicians.