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Opioid prescription patterns among patients with fibromyalgia

Caio V. M. Sarmento, PT, PhD, Mehrdad Maz, MD, Taylor Pfeifer, DPT, Marco Pessoa, PhD, Wen Liu, PhD

Abstract


Objectives: To investigate opioid prescribing patterns among patients with fibromyalgia (FM) in terms of age, gender, race, type of opioids, and to examine changes in opioid prescription over the past 8 years compared to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved FM medications.

Design: Retrospective review of data using the Healthcare Enterprise Repository for Ontological Narration database. The collected data were analyzed descriptively and a chi-square test for trend was used to analyze a possible linear relationship between the proportions of opioid and non-opioid users along the time.

Participants: Patients with a diagnosis of FM who had received opioid prescriptions from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2017, and FM patients who had received prescriptions of FDA-approved FM medications in the same period.

Main outcome measure: Trends in opioid and non-opioid prescriptions in patients with FM.

Results: The opioid medications were prescribed more frequently in 2010 (40 percent) and 2011 (42 percent), but the percentages have decreased since 2012 and reached the lowest numbers in 2016 (27 percent). The chi-square test for trend shows that from 2010 to 2017 the prescriptions of opioids had a statistically significant (p < 0.0001) decrease.

Conclusion: This study suggests that the frequency of prescribed opioids in FM patients has decreased since 2012. This decline could be attributed to (1) FDA monitoring programs, (2) national efforts to increase awareness of the addictive and harmful effects of opioids, and (3) the growing research on the efficacy of non-opioid therapies to treat chronic pain conditions including FM.


Keywords


fibromyalgia, opioid prescription, chronic pain management

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2019.0537

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