June 25, 2019

Effect of fewer postop opioids prescribed, preop education on opioid consumption

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor’s Note

Prescribing fewer opioid tablets postoperatively was associated with lower opioid consumption after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and preoperative education was associated with lower duration and quantity of postoperative opioid use, this study finds.

Of 264 patients analyzed, 109 received 50 tablets, 77 received 30 tablets and no education, and 78 received 30 tables and education.

Patients receiving 50 tablets consumed a mean of 25.4, those receiving 30 tablets and no education consumed a mean of 15.6, and those receiving 30 tablets and preoperative education consumed a mean of 12.4 tablets.

Patients receiving 50 tablets took opioids for a significantly greater number of days after surgery (5.8 days), compared with those receiving 30 tablets and no education (4.5 days), and those receiving 30 tablets and education (3.5 days).

Further research should investigate whether similar opioid stewardship and education protocols would be successful in other patient populations, the authors say.

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