Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-dose opioid treatment associated with mental health and medical comorbidities

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
A new study shows that patients on higher doses of opioids had higher rates of psychiatric problems, co-prescriptions of sedatives and health care services utilization.

Most patients taking opioids for low back pain or other pain syndromes are prescribed low-to moderate doses, but a substantial number are given higher doses. Although there is no consensus on an absolute limit because tolerance varies over time among individual patients, what is known, however, is higher does are associated with elevated risks for side effects, addiction, overdoses and death. A study published by Oregon Health and Sciences University in The Journal of Pain showed that patients on higher doses of opioids had higher rates of psychiatric problems, co-prescriptions of sedatives and health care services utilization.

Related Articles


The Journal of Pain is the per-review publication of the American Pain Society.

For the study, the research team sought to examine correlates of higher dose opioid use among patients in primary care settings being treated for low back pain. The goals were to determine the prevalence of higher dose opioid prescribing, identify the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients receiving higher doses, and examine health services utilization patterns among high-dose users.

Electronic pharmacy and medical records were examined for 26,000 adults 18 and older diagnosed with low back pain, of which 61 percent received an opioid prescription. Among patients receiving long-term opioid treatment, nearly 9 percent received a higher dose in their final prescription. Patients receiving higher doses of opioid therapy were prescribed a median daily dose of 180 mg per day, which was seven times greater that patients receiving lower doses.

The analysis showed that chronic pain patients with comorbid psychiatric diagnoses are more likely to be prescribed opioids compared with patients without psychiatric problems. The authors found that the prevalence of mental health diagnoses increases with longer duration of opioid use. Studies have indicated a relationship between depression and persistent pain and that each could have a causative influence on the other. Thus, depression may lead to more opioid use and opioid use may cause or exacerbate depression.

The authors concluded their results should prompt physicians to screen opioid therapy candidates for mental health and substance use disorders.

Another finding reported in the study showed that patients in the higher dose group were frequent consumers of medical services, including visits to emergency departments. Also, higher dose patients had the largest number of different prescribers, which could indicate continued uncontrolled pain, continuity of care problems or "doctor shopping."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amy M. Kobus, David H. Smith, Benjamin J. Morasco, Eric S. Johnson, Xiuhai Yang, Amanda F. Petrik, Richard A. Deyo. Correlates of Higher-Dose Opioid Medication Use for Low Back Pain in Primary Care. The Journal of Pain, 2012; 13 (11): 1131 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.09.003

Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "High-dose opioid treatment associated with mental health and medical comorbidities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127093900.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2012, November 27). High-dose opioid treatment associated with mental health and medical comorbidities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127093900.htm
American Pain Society. "High-dose opioid treatment associated with mental health and medical comorbidities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127093900.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins