Study finds decrease in number of tablets in opioid prescriptions

A recently published study examined post-operative opioid prescriptions and found that prescription amounts are decreasing, but have not reached recommended levels. Researchers collected data on the number of opioid tablets prescribed after 10 common same-day surgical procedures. For the four orthopedic procedures included in the study, the median number of tablets prescribed decreased by half but are still above recommended quantities. Of the six non-orthopedic surgeries studied, four currently meet recommendations. Overall, the number of tablets decreased by half between January 2017 and December 2020, although it remains higher than best-practice recommendations for some procedures. Notably, researchers determined that while fewer tablets were prescribed, there were not fewer opioid prescriptions overall.

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