Patterns of opioid use in commercially insured patients with cancer.
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractObjectives: In an era of heightened opioid prescribing scrutiny, ensuring safe and adequate pain management is challenging. Understanding opioid use in patients with cancer can facilitate effective pain management regimens while minimizing safety concerns. This study characterized patterns of and factors associated with opioid use following a new cancer diagnosis. Study design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: Our study included patients with a new cancer diagnosis aged 18 to 64 years in IQVIA PharMetrics Plus 2007-2013 who were continuously enrolled 12 months before receiving their cancer diagnosis and 24 months after. Study outcomes included opioid prevalence and measures of potentially high-risk opioid use (total days supplied, number of prescriptions, and morphine equivalent daily dose [MEDD]). Descriptive analyses and logistic regression were implemented. Results: Of 191,616 eligible individuals, 93,739 (48.9%) received opioid prescriptions; of these, 56,025 (59.8%) were new opioid users. Opioid users received 4.6 prescriptions on average, covering 65 total days with a mean MEDD of 31.8 mg. Only 2387 (2.5%) patients received higher than recommended (≥ 90 mg) MEDD. Predictors of opioid use post cancer included prior opioid use, select comorbidities, use of nonopioid pain treatment adjuvants (muscle relaxants, sedative/hypnotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and steroids), cancer site, and metastatic cancer. Conclusions: Fewer than half of patients received opioids in the 2 years following cancer onset. Among users, we found a relatively small proportion of potentially problematic opioid use. Further research is warranted to assess the adequacy of cancer pain treatment and determinants of high-risk opioid use.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/18877
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