Long-acting opioids related to unintentional overdose risk
MedScape - 02/18/2015
Long-acting opioids were associated with a greater than 2-fold risk for unintentional overdose compared with short-acting formulations, according to a cohort study published onlineFebruary 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Moreover, the risk was more than 5-fold greater in the first 2 weeks of using a long-acting opioid.
“If replicated in other cohorts, our findings suggest that clinicians weighing the benefits and risks of initiating different opioid regimens should consider not only the daily dose prescribed but also the duration of opioid action, favoring short-acting agents whenever possible, especially during the first 2 weeks of therapy,” write Matthew Miller, MD, ScD, from the Department of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues. The study population was made up of veterans who were largely men older than 50 years