Association between opioid-related deaths and prescribed opioid dose and psychotropic medicines in England: a case-crossover study.
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AbstractOpioid-overdose deaths are associated with poisoning with prescription and illicit opioids in the USA. In contrast, opioid-related deaths (ORDs) in the UK often involve drugs and substances of misuse, and may not be associated with a high dose of prescribed opioids. This study aimed to investigate the association between prescribed opioid dose and ORDs in UK primary care. This case-crossover study used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and death registration between 2000 and 2015 to identify ORDs. Daily oral morphine equivalent (OMEQ) dose was measured within a 90 day focal window before ORD and three earlier reference windows. Conditional logistic regression models assessed the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) comparing daily OMEQ dose greater than 120 mg in the focal window against the reference windows. Of the 232 ORDs, 62 (26.7%) were not prescribed opioids in the year before death. Of the remaining 170 cases, 50 (29.4%) were never prescribed a daily OMEQ dose greater than 50 mg. Daily OMEQ doses over 120 mg (aOR 2.20; 95% CI: 1.06-4.56), co-prescribing gabapentinoids (aOR 2.32; 95% CI: 1.01-5.33), or some antidepressants (aOR 3.03; 95% CI: 1.02-9.04) significantly increased the risk of ORD. Daily OMEQ dose greater than 120 mg and the concomitant use of psychotropic medicines were related to ORDs in the UK. Prescribers should cautiously avoid prescribing opioids with a daily OMEQ dose greater than 120 mg day and the combination of opioids and gabapentinoids, even with low opioid doses. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 British Journal of Anaesthesia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]
CitationBritish journal of anaesthesia
DescriptionFrom PubMed via Jisc Publications Router
History: received 2020-06-02, revised 2021-05-22, accepted 2021-06-15
Publication status: aheadofprint