|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 PainQuestions and AnswersLinks
Doctors Urged to Prescribe Lower Doses of Opioids, No Refills
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Aug 9th 2016
TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are first-time users of pain-killing opioids should be prescribed a small dose without refills to reduce the risk of long-term use and possible addiction, a new study suggests.
A surge in prescriptions for opioids such as Oxycontin and Vicodin over the past two decades dovetails with a steep rise in addiction and overdoses in the United States. The trend has prompted calls for more careful use of the narcotic painkillers.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 537,000 patients in Oregon who were prescribed opioids for the first time. The investigators found that 5 percent of those who received six or more refills within a year became long-term users.
This trend was higher among rural patients (6 percent) than among urban patients (4 percent), the findings showed. And the risk of long-term use increased with age, according to the study published online Aug. 2 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Further study of data from more than 243,000 patients aged 45 and younger found that those who were given two prescription fills were 2.25 times more likely to become long-term opioid users than those who received one prescription.
The risk was also greater among patients who got higher initial doses and long-acting rather than short-acting medications, the findings showed.
The risk of long-term use can be reduced by prescribing a short-acting painkiller with no refills, according to study leader Richard Deyo. He is a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
"The increasing risk of long-term use even at low cumulative doses supports the Centers for Disease Control recommendation of limiting therapy to three to seven days for most patients," Deyo said in a journal news release.
"Our data suggest the value of attention to high-risk prescribing, over which clinicians have greater control. This in part reflects concern that we are dealing with risky drugs, not risky patients," he said.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about opioids.
This article: Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.