New Persistent Opioid Use after Outpatient Ureteroscopy for Upper Tract Stone Treatment.

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OBJECTIVE: To measure the incidence of persistent opioid use following ureteroscopy (URS). Over 100 Americans die every day from opioid overdose. Recent studies suggest that many opioid addictions surface after surgery.

METHODS: Using claims data, we identified adults who underwent outpatient URS for treatment of upper tract stones between January 2008 and December 2016 and filled an opioid prescription attributable to URS. We then measured the rate of new persistent opioid use-defined as continued use of opioids 91 to 180 days after URS among those who were previously opioid-naive. Finally, we fit multivariable models to assess whether new persistent opioid use was associated with the amount of opioid prescribed at the time of URS.

RESULTS: In total, 27,740 patients underwent outpatient URS, 51.2% of whom were opioid-naïve. Nearly one in 16 (6.2%) opioid-naïve patients developed new persistent opioid use after URS. Six months following surgery, beneficiaries with new persistent opioid use continued to fill prescriptions with daily doses of 4.2 oral morphine equivalents. Adjusting for measured sociodemographic and clinical differences, patients in the highest tercile of opioids prescribed at the time of URS had 69% higher odds of new persistent opioid use compared to those in the lowest tercile (odds ratio, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Nearly one in 16 opioid-naive patients develop new persistent opioid use after URS. New persistent opioid use is associated with the amount of opioid prescribed at the time of URS. Given these findings, urologists should re-evaluate their post-URS opioid prescribing patterns.

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ePub ahead of print