About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Opioid Prescriptions

by Sheela Philomena on March 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM
Font : A-A+

 Opioid Prescriptions

In a new study it was found that some physicians are prescribing opioids such as OxyContin 55 times as often as others. Most opioid related deaths are common among patients who frequently prescribe opioids to their patients. A lot of opioids may not do good to their health.

"We found that the 20 per cent of family doctors who are frequent prescribers wrote 55 times as many prescriptions as the 20 per cent of family doctors who prescribe opioids the least. This large variation in practice is concerning," says Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a general internist at St. Michael's Hospital and an adjunct scientist at ICES.

Advertisement

The study, published in the March edition of the journal Canadian Family Physician, examined opioid prescribing rates among family physicians in Ontario. Researchers found doctors who frequently prescribe opioids are also more likely to write the patient's final prescription before death.

"Family physicians are caught in the middle. On the one hand, there are many patients suffering terribly from chronic pain who can't get relief from other treatments. On the other hand, the evidence for long-term treatment with opioids is very weak," says St. Michael's family physician Dr. Philip Berger. "If the drugs were safe, it wouldn't be an issue. But unfortunately they do carry significant risks -- most notably addiction and death from overdose. And it is important to recognize that one reason opioids are prescribed so often is that the pharmaceutical industry has marketed these drugs very aggressively."
Advertisement

Deaths related to opioids in Ontario have more than doubled -- from 13.7 deaths per million residents in 1991 to 33.3 deaths per million residents in 2006. Of the 423 deaths that occurred in 2006, oxycodone -- the active ingredient in OxyContin -- was the opioid most frequently associated with an overdose death.

In 2010, the provincial government passed the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, which will enable the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to better track opioid prescribing in Ontario.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended Reading

This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Opioid Prescriptions Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests