Navigation Links
Painkiller prescribing varies dramatically among family physicians: study

TORONTO, Ont., March 14, 2011 -- Some physicians are prescribing opioids such as OxyContin 55 times as often as others, according to a new study led by St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). The study found most opioid-related deaths occur among patients treated by physicians who frequently prescribe opioids, suggesting doctors who prescribe a lot of opioids may not be doing so safely.

"We found that the 20 per cent of family doctors who are frequent prescribers wrote 55 times as many prescriptions as the 20 per cent of family doctors who prescribe opioids the least. This large variation in practice is concerning," says Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a general internist at St. Michael's Hospital and an adjunct scientist at ICES.

The study, published in the March edition of the journal Canadian Family Physician, examined opioid prescribing rates among family physicians in Ontario. Researchers found doctors who frequently prescribe opioids are also more likely to write the patient's final prescription before death.

"Family physicians are caught in the middle. On the one hand, there are many patients suffering terribly from chronic pain who can't get relief from other treatments. On the other hand, the evidence for long-term treatment with opioids is very weak," says St. Michael's family physician Dr. Philip Berger. "If the drugs were safe, it wouldn't be an issue. But unfortunately they do carry significant risks -- most notably addiction and death from overdose. And it is important to recognize that one reason opioids are prescribed so often is that the pharmaceutical industry has marketed these drugs very aggressively."

Deaths related to opioids in Ontario have more than doubled -- from 13.7 deaths per million residents in 1991 to 33.3 deaths per million residents in 2006. Of the 423 deaths that occurred in 2006, oxycodone -- the active ingredient in OxyContin -- was the opioid most frequently associated with an overdose death.

In 2010, the provincial government passed the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, which will enable the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to better track opioid prescribing in Ontario.


Contact: Julie Saccone
St. Michael's Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Painkillers Lower Estrogen Levels, May Explain Cancer Reduction Risk
2. Another perk of painkillers? Decreased hormone levels may reduce cancer risk
3. New Form of Painkiller May Fight Colon Cancer
4. Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
5. Turning a painkiller into a cancer killer
6. ER Visits Soaring for Prescription Painkiller Misuse
7. Statins, Painkillers May Upset PSA Test Results
8. Romantic Love: Natures Painkiller?
9. Painkillers in Pregnancy May Harm Sons Fertility, Study Suggests
10. Prescriptions for Stimulants, Painkillers Soaring Among Youth
11. Oxycontin, Other Opioid Painkillers Tied to Higher Health Risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... at the 7th Annual 2015 Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products ... a zero capex web based sample management software that helps labs ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ -- the ... North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance of ... is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st ... Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... their independence is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro ... offer this next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) today announced that the organization has awarded ... in San Francisco, with a Distinguished Award. The award celebrates exceptional special needs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Building on ... Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) today ... Pharmaceutical Companies to significantly reduce the burden of ... up 74 percent of new HIV infections among ... World AIDS Day, these new initiatives include collaborations ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 01, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Europe ... E. Coli, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, ... their offering. --> ... the "2016 Europe Enteric Disease ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a clinical-stage company ... today that the company will present at the LD Micro ... the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, ... Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, at 9:00 am ... Please register at least 10 minutes prior to the start ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: