Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing Contributes to Opioid Overdose Risk, Study Says

New data show an association between potentially inappropriate prescribing practices and higher risk of all-cause mortality, and both fatal and non-fatal overdose.

Potentially inappropriate prescribing practices may contribute to opioid overdose, with new data showing they were associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality, and both fatal and

non-fatal overdose


In total, the data revealed that more than 50% of adults in Massachusetts, where data was pulled from, received at least 1 opioid prescription during the 5-year study period, of which more than 11% in the received at least 1 risky prescription. The findings detailed that more than 6% of adults in the state received a potentially inappropriate opioid prescription.

The researchers identified 6 types of potentially inappropriate prescriptions, all of which were associated with higher adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality, 4 with non-fatal overdose, and 5 with fatal overdose.

Led by Adam J. Rose, MD, MSc, a physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, the research team explored data from 3,078,034 patients aged 18 years or older, without cancer, who received an opioid prescription between 2011 and 2015. Cox proportional hazard models were used to identify the prescription practices associated with the 3 measured outcomes, with the researchers controlling for covariates.

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