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Opioid analgesia in necrotizing pancreatitis: Incidence and timing of a hidden crisis

Published:December 01, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.11.039

      Highlights

      • Opioid prescriptions are common in NP.
      • Despite decline over time, 1 in 4 patients remain on opioids at disease resolution.
      • These data identify an opportunity to adjust analgesic prescription practice in NP patients.

      Abstract

      Background

      Rates of opioid usage during necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) disease course are unknown. We hypothesized that a significant number of NP patients were prescribed opioid analgesics chronically.

      Methods

      Single institution IRB-approved retrospective study of 230 NP patients treated between 2015 and 2019.

      Results

      Data were available for 198/230 (86%) patients. 166/198 (84%) were discharged from their index hospitalization with a prescription for an opioid. At the first clinic visit following hospitalization, 110/182 (60%) were using opioids. Six months after disease onset, 72/163 (44%) continued to require opioids. At disease resolution, 38/144 (26%) patients remained on opioid medications. The rate of active opioid prescriptions at six months after disease onset declined throughout the period studied from 68% in 2015 to 39% in 2019.

      Conclusions

      Opioid prescriptions are common in NP. Despite decline over time, 1 in 4 patients remain on opioids at disease resolution. These data identify an opportunity to adjust analgesic prescription practice in NP patients.
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