Clinical Edge

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Opioid Use in the ED to Treat Migraine in Young Adults

Opioid use in the emergency department (ED) to treat migraine in youth is somewhat common, a new study found. Researchers analyzed data from 2010 - 2016 in the Center Health Facts electronic health record data warehouse to estimate the population likelihood of an opioid being used in the ED to treat a primary diagnosis of migraine in adolescents and young adults and to evaluate the extent to which this likelihood varies as a function of patient characteristics, encounter, and ED. Among the findings:

  • 14,494 eligible ED encounters with unique patients were identified, of which 23% involved an opioid.
  • Likelihood of being treated with opioids was significantly higher for patients who were older, female, white, and seen by a surgeon.
  • Sites varied widely in percentage of encounters involving opioids.


Connelly M, et al. Rates and predictors of using opioids in the emergency department to treat migraine in adolescents and young adults. [Published online ahead of print June 22, 2019]. Pediatr Emerg Care. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001851.