Treating dental pain with opioids linked to higher risk of o
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When they go to the dentist for a procedure, patients might not think that the prescription they receive to ease their pain could put them or their family at risk of an opioid overdose. But a new study shows that overdose rates were two and a half times higher among patients who filled a prescription for an opioid medication after a dental procedure, compared with those who didn't fill such a prescription.

IBM MarketScan Dental, IBM MarketScan Commercial, and Medicaid Multi-State Databases were analyzed. Two analyses were conducted. In the patient analysis, dental procedures for privately and publicly insured patients aged 13–64 years were identified. The exposure was ?1 initial prescription (dispensed opioid prescription within 3 days of the procedure). The association between the exposure and ?1 overdose within 90 days of the procedure was evaluated using logistic regression.

In the family analysis, procedures for privately insured patients in family plans were identified. The association between the exposure and ?1 overdose in a family member within 90 days was evaluated using logistic regression. In both analyses, the average marginal effect of the exposure was calculated, representing the change in the probability of the outcome if all versus if no procedures were associated with ?1 initial prescription.

The patient analysis included 8,544,098 procedures. When ?1 initial prescription did and did not occur, the 90-day risk of overdose was 5.8 versus 2.2 per 10,000 procedures. The family analysis included 3,461,469 procedures. When ?1 initial prescription did and did not occur, the 90-day risk of overdose in a family member was 1.7 versus 1.0 per 10,000 procedures.

Conclusively, the findings highlight the importance of avoiding unnecessary dental opioid prescribing.

American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2021.02.008
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