Link text A study to quantify the effects of varying opioid prescribing patterns after surgery on dependence, overdose, or abuse in an opioid naive population was published in the BMJ in January 2018.
The study reviewed surgical claims from a linked medical and pharmacy administrative database of 37.5 million commercially insured patients between 2008 and 2016, specifically over 1 million opioid naive patients undergoing surgery.
The study found that each refill and week of prescribed opioid(s) was associated with a large increase in opioid misuse among opioid naive patients. The data from this study suggest that duration of the prescription rather than dosage is more strongly associated with ultimate misuse in the early post-surgical period. The analysis quantifies the association of prescribing choices on opioid misuse and identifies levers for possible impact.