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Opioid prescriptions following eye surgery increase

US research has revealed that the number of filled opioid prescriptions doubled across different specialties between 2000 and 2014

Pill packets

A new study from US scientists has highlighted that the rate of opioid prescriptions following eye surgery has more than doubled between 2000 and 2014.

Across six different ocular subspecialties, the overall rate of opioid prescriptions rose over the period from 1.2% to 2.5%.

The JAMA Ophthalmology study revealed that the rate declined to 2.2% in 2015 and 2.1% in 2016.

However, after controlling for differences among the types of surgeries the odds of having an opioid prescription filled after any type of incisional ocular surgery was three times higher between 2014–2016 when compared to 2000–2004.

Assistant professor Brian VanderBeek, from the Perelman School of Medicine, highlighted that the reasons for the steady increase remain unclear but are likely to be multifactorial.

Potential reasons include insufficient training around opioid prescribing, increased focus on pain management and a lack of standard state and national opioid prescription regulations.

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