Clinical Edge

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Opioid Prescription & Use After Cesarean Delivery

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 Jun 6; Bateman, et al

Most women discharged after cesarean delivery are prescribed opioids for pain, and the amount of opioid prescribed generally exceeds the amount consumed by a significant margin, leading to substantial amounts of leftover opioid medication, a recent study found. A survey at 6 academic medical centers in the US from September 2014 to March 2016 included women who had undergone a cesarean delivery and inquired as to the opioid prescription they received on discharge and their oral opioid intake while at home. Researchers found:

  • 720 women were included; 615 (85.4%) filled an opioid prescription.
  • The median number of dispensed opioid tablets was 40, the median number consumed was 20, and leftover was 15.
  • 95.3% of women with leftover opioids had not disposed of the excess medications at the time of the interview.
  • The quantity of opioids dispensed did not correlate with patient satisfaction, pain control, or the need to refill the opioid prescription.

Citation:

Bateman BT, Cole NM, Maeda A, et al. Patterns of opioid prescription and use after cesarean delivery. [Published online ahead of print June 6, 2017]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002093.