Painkillers in higher doses, taken over longer periods for chronic pain increase overdose risk

the ONA take:

According to a new study published in The Journal of Pain, researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Texas have found that painkillers in higher doses and taken over longer periods for chronic pain increase the risk of overdose.

For the study, researchers developed a database to analyze medications, health care delivery, and comorbid conditions for over 200,000 HMO-enrolled patients who filled two or more prescriptions for opioids for non-cancer pain between 2009 and 2012. Results showed that a morphine equivalent total daily dose of 100mg or more significantly increased the risk of drug overdose.

In addition, patients who took 50-99mg/day were at an increased risk of drug overdose if they filled prescriptions totaling the morphine equivalent of at least 1,830mg over a 6-month period.

A second study published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine found that the risk of drug overdose is multiplicative if they are taking benzodiazepines on top of opioids.

The findings suggest that healthcare providers should be mindful of the drug combination that they are prescribing as well as how much opioids they have prescribed a patients over a period of time.

Painkillers in higher doses, taken over longer periods for chronic pain increase overdose risk
Painkillers in higher doses and taken over longer periods for chronic pain increase the risk of overdose.
Two new studies authored by Dr. Turner and Yuanyuan Liang, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, bring fresh insights about the risks faced by patients taking cocktails of medications for non-cancer chronic pain
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