Most Opioid Prescriptions not Aligned with Treatment Guidelines

May 6, 2019

OARSI 2019:  Half of opioid prescriptions made today are not aligned with treatment guidelines.

Half of opioid prescriptions made today are not aligned with treatment guidelines, say researchers reporting this weekend in Toronto at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) World Congress on Osteoarthritis.

Jonas Bloch Thorlund of the University of Southern Denmark reported that “half of opioids dispensed to patients with a new knee or hip osteoarthritis diagnosis are inappropriate according to current treatment guidelines.”

In a review of a healthcare registry database, Dr. Thorlund and colleagues found that 50 percent of opioids prescribed in the first year of a knee or hip osteoarthritis diagnosis was “inappropriate” based on recommended treatment guidelines. The study included 399,670 knee osteoarthritis patients and 414,216 hip osteoarthritis patients. Kneed osteoarthritis patients were prescribed codeine (42.5 percent), oxycodone (23.9 percent), tramadol (20.6 percent) or morphine (9.7 percent). Hip osteoarthritis patients were prescribed codeine (39.5 percent), oxycodone (25.4 percent), tramadol (20.9 percent) and morphine (11.5 percent).