Bottom Line: Changing how opioids are prescribed after surgery requires understanding the factors associated with patients' use of the pain-relieving medications. This study describes opioid prescribing and use after surgery among almost 2,400 patients in Michigan who underwent 1 of 12 surgical procedures in 2017. Overall, more opioids were prescribed than used, with patients using about 27 percent of the opioids prescribed. The size of an opioid prescription was associated with opioid use, with patients using an additional five pills for every 10 extra pills prescribed. The study is limited by data that relied on patients' recollections of how many pills they used, which may not be accurate.
Authors: Joceline Vu, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
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