- Nearly 80% of ED patients who received short-term acute pain opioid treatment reported side effects similar to those experienced by patients who use opioids long-term to manage chronic pain, including constipation, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, and weakness.
- Constipation was higher in older patients and those receiving higher-dose opioids, and nausea/vomiting and dizziness were more common in women and in patients who received oxycodone.
Why this matters
- The majority of studies on side effects of opioid use have focused on people with chronic noncancer pain, with little data available on patients taking short-term opioids for acute pain.
- Study of 386 patients with acute pain.
- Funding: Hospital of the Sacred Heart of Montreal.
- At 2 weeks, 80% of opioid users reported side effects.
- Opioid use was associated with significantly higher risk for:
- Constipation (aOR, 7.5; 95% CI, 3.1-17.9);
- nausea/vomiting (aOR, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.8-9.5);
- dizziness (aOR, 5.4; 95% CI, 2.2-13.2); and
- weakness (aOR, 4.2; 95% CI, 1.6-11.0).
- Patients aged ≥65 years (aOR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.1-3.1) and with higher dose (>20 mg morphine equivalent vs 0: aOR, 13.3; 95% CI, 5.0-35.1) had higher risk for constipation.
- Risk for nausea/vomiting and dizziness was significantly higher in women and patients who received oxycodone.
- Single-center study.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD