- Although rates of opioid prescription in opioid-naive patients with lower back pain (LBP) or lower extremity pain (LEP) decreased nearly 8% between 2008 and 2015, prescribing rates of benzodiazepines decreased by just >1% during the same period.
- Nearly 20% of patients received prescriptions for both opioids and benzodiazepines.
Why this matters
- Patients who were coprescribed both drugs received significantly higher doses of opioids and had a greater risk for long-term opioid use.
- 2,497,653 opioid-naive patients with newly diagnosed LBP or LEP were assessed.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- 31.9% and 11.5% of patients received opioid or benzodiazepine prescriptions, respectively.
- From 2008 to 2015, there was a decrease in the rates of opioid prescribing from 34.8% to 27.0% (P<.001>
- No significant change in the rates of benzodiazepine prescribing was noted (11.6% to 10.7%; P=.031).
- Greater opioid consumption was noted among patients who had received benzodiazepine (1-way analysis of variance; P<.001 style="list-style-type:circle;">
- 6 months before and 12 months after the diagnosis (continued use),
- only 12 months after the diagnosis (new use), and
- only 6 months before the diagnosis.
- Retrospective study.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm