powered by centersite dot net
Pain Management
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Around the World, Too Little Relief for PainPost-Op Opioids: How Much Is Enough?ERs Prescribing Opioids at Lower Doses, Shorter DurationsBig Rise in Hospitalized Kids With Opioid Side EffectsMost Opioid Use Concentrated in Top 10 Percent of UsersCommon Painkillers May Boost Blood Pressure in Arthritis PatientsMany Migraine Sufferers Given Unecessary Opioids, Study FindsSleep, Caffeine Use May Play Role in Post-Op PainLonger Prescriptions Make Opioid Abuse More Likely: StudyMany Prescribed Opioids Even After OverdoseReview: Cannabis May Alleviate Neuropathic PainOpioid Prescription Rates Higher in Cancer SurvivorsDoctors May Be Over-Prescribing Seizure Drugs to Treat Pain2 of 3 U.S. Patients Keep Unused Painkillers After SurgeryDoctors Still Overprescribing Opioids in U.S.Reduction of Opioid Dose May Improve Pain, Quality of LifeEasing Opioid Dose May Improve Pain and Quality of LifeAt-Risk Pain Patients Can Cut Opioid Use With Psychology ToolsHalf of Opioid Prescriptions Go to People With Mental IllnessReaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat PainRx Changes, Counseling, Regular Visits Can Cut Opioid Deaths3 Simple Steps Might Reduce Opioid OD DeathsWhen Is an Opioid Safe to Take?Yoga Soothes Back Pain in StudyFDA Asks Maker of Opioid Painkiller Opana ER to Pull Drug From MarketOpioids Over-Prescribed After C-Sections: StudiesPersistent Pain May Lead to Memory Troubles1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years LaterTaking Opioids Before Knee Surgery Could Raise Pain LaterERs May Need to Rethink Opioid Prescription PracticesCommon Painkillers Tied to Slight Rise in Heart Attack RiskOpioid Use by Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Mirrors Rest of U.S.: Study'Mindfulness' Probably Won't Cure Your Back Pain: StudyMusic May Soothe the 'Savage Beast' of Post-Op PainInitial Rx Can Affect Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid UseOpioid Dependence Can Start in Just a Few DaysOpioid Painkillers and Xanax or Valium a Deadly Mix: StudyDiazepam Not Beneficial for Acute Low Back Pain in ERKids' OD Risk Rises When Opioids Left Out at HomeChronic Pain More Likely for Poor, Less Educated: StudySome Docs May Help Fuel Opioid Abuse EpidemicTry Drug-Free Options First for Low Back Pain, New Guidelines SayTwelve Percent of Women Fill Opioid Rx After Vaginal DeliveryLow Back Pain? Relax, Breathe and Try YogaOpioids and Alcohol a Dangerous CocktailTreatment of Hips Beneficial in Patients With Low Back PainCommon Painkillers Don't Ease Back Pain, Study FindsHigh Pain Tolerance Tied to 'Silent' Heart Attack RiskWhat You Need to Know When Prescribed an Opioid PainkillerDiscussing Opioid Risks With Patients Reduces Misuse
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Mental Disorders
Medications

1 in 5 Weight-Loss Surgery Patients Using Opioids Years Later

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jun 6th 2017

new article illustration

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- About 20 percent of U.S. weight-loss surgery patients are still using prescription opioid painkillers seven years later, a new study finds.

The finding has importance, given the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse currently affecting the United States, researchers said.

"Our study does not prove that bariatric surgery causes an increase in opioid use. However, it does demonstrate the widespread use of opioids among post-surgical patients, thereby highlighting the need for alternative pain management approaches," said study co-author Dr. Anita Courcoulas. She is chief of minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery at the Unversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The researchers followed more than 2,000 patients nationwide. Before surgery, 14.7 percent said they regularly used a prescription opioid. Six months after surgery, the rate fell to about 13 percent, but it rose to 20.3 percent after seven years.

Of patients who were not using opioids at the time of surgery, 5.8 percent were taking them six months later and just over 14 percent were taking them seven years after their operations.

Hydrocodone (Vicodin) was the most commonly used opioid medication, followed by Tramadol (Ultram) and Oxycodone (Oxycontin).

Researchers also reported a rise in the use of prescription treatments for opioid dependence during the study, which began in 2006. But their use was still rare, with less than 2 percent of patients using them through the follow-up period.

The findings suggest that though weight-loss surgery eases obesity-related pain, it does not eliminate the need for pain relief, the researchers said.

"Almost half of patients reporting opioid use at the time of surgery reported no such use following surgery. However, among the much larger group of patients who did not report opioid use pre-surgery, opioid use gradually increased throughout seven years of follow-up," said lead study author Wendy King, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

So, "post-surgery initiation of opioid use explains this phenomenon," King added in a university news release.

Prescription opioids carry a high risk of addiction and should not routinely be used to manage chronic pain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our nation is in an epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction and overdose. Recent reports have suggested that bariatric [weight-loss] surgery patients are at elevated risk of chronic opioid use," Courcoulas said.

The study was published June 5 in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on weight loss surgery.