Dentists among the best opioid prescribers

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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, February 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) – American dentists often prescribe more than the recommended supply of opioid analgesics to patients, according to a new study.

Not only that, they are more likely to prescribe more potent opioids, the researchers found.

In this study, the researchers analyzed data on almost 550,000 visits to the dentist of adult patients between 2011 and 2015, before the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US were issued in 2016. UU. For pain management.

More than half of the opioid prescriptions issued by dentists were for longer than the three-day supply recommended by the CDC for the treatment of acute dental pain. And 29% of dental patients received more potent opioids than was necessary for the expected pain after their dental procedures, the findings showed.

The study was published online on February 4 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"Unlike national trends, the over-prescription of opioids by dentists is increasing. Our results should initiate a call to action to professional organizations and public health and advocacy groups to improve guidelines for prescribing opioids for oral pain. "said lead researcher Katie Suda, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"As senior opioid prescribers write prescriptions for a tenth of the opioids dispensed in the US, dentists should be included as part of the multifaceted solution needed for the opioid epidemic," Suda said in a statement Magazine press.

More studies are needed to see if opioid prescription patterns among dentists changed after the CDC tightened prescription guidelines in 2016, the study authors said.

Dental patients most likely to have over-prescribed opioids, those aged 18 to 34, men, those in the south, and those receiving oxycodone, are the same groups at high risk of opioid addiction and overdose, the researchers said. .

According to study co-author Gregory Calip of the University of Illinois School of Pharmacy, "future studies and directed efforts to reduce over-prescription would also be well motivated among older patients and others taking other high-risk medications. , like benzodiazepines. "

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SOURCE:American Journal of Preventive Medicine, press release, February 4, 2020

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