Evaluation of Opioid Use in Acute Pancreatitis in Absence of Chronic Pancreatitis: Absence of Opioid Dependence an Important Feature.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Chronic opioid use and dependence is common in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Patients with acute pancreatitis are frequently treated with opioids, but their risk for ongoing use is not well known. The aim of our study is to characterize opioid use in patients after an episode of acute pancreatitis and to assess persistent, chronic, and daily opioid use in such patients in the absence of chronic pancreatitis. METHODS: This is a single-center review of prospectively enrolled patients with acute pancreatitis. Using the Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool, we recorded all opioid prescriptions (ie, frequency, duration, and amount) for patients from December 2016 to September 2019, after index hospitalization for acute pancreatitis. Patients with chronic pancreatitis were excluded. We used univariate and multivariate analysis to determine predictors of opioid use at discharge and subsequent follow-up over 18 months. RESULTS: Of 235 enrolled patients who were opioid-naïve, 123 patients (52.3%) received opioids at discharge after index hospitalization. In follow-up over 18 months, 40 patients (17.0%) received additional opioid prescriptions. These patients had more severe disease, longer length of stay, and higher pain score at discharge. Patients with prior history of acute pancreatitis, local complications, and higher pain scores were twice as likely to subsequently be prescribed opioids. Persistent opioid use was seen only in recurrent acute pancreatitis. There was no daily or chronic opioid use. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of chronic pancreatitis, there was no daily or chronic use of opioids in patients with acute pancreatitis. Persistent use was only seen in patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis. These patients are at increased risk of chronic opioid use and dependence.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ahmed, A; Yakah, W; Freedman, SD; Kothari, DJ; Sheth, SG

Published Date

  • October 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1209 - 1218

PubMed ID

  • 32272099

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1555-7162

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.03.010


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States