OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Side effects from oral opioids in older adults during the first week of treatment for acute musculoskeletal pain

Katherine M Hunold, Denise A Esserman, Cameron G Isaacs, Ryan M Dickey, Greg F Pereira, Roger B Fillingim, Philip D Sloane, Samuel A McLean, Timothy F Platts-Mills
Academic Emergency Medicine: Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2013, 20 (9): 872-9
24033733

OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to describe the frequency of short-term side effects experienced by older adults initiating treatment with opioid-containing analgesics for acute musculoskeletal pain.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of individuals age 65 years or older initiating analgesic treatment following emergency department (ED) visits for acute musculoskeletal pain. Patients were called by phone 4 to 7 days after their ED visits to assess the intensity of six common opioid-related side effects using a 0 to 10 scale and to assess medication discontinuation due to side effects. Propensity score matching was used to compare side effects among patients initiating treatment with any opioid-containing analgesics to side effects among those initiating treatment with only nonopioids.

RESULTS: Of 104 older patients initiating analgesic treatment following ED visits for musculoskeletal pain, 71 patients took opioid-containing analgesics, 15 took acetaminophen, and 18 took ibuprofen. Among the patients who took opioids, at least one side effect of moderate or severe intensity (score ≥ 4) was reported by 62%. Among patients with matching propensity scores, those taking opioids were more likely to have had moderate or severe side effects than those taking only nonopioids (62%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 48% to 74% vs. 4%, 95% CI = 1% to 20%) and were also more likely to have discontinued treatment due to side effects (16%, 95% CI = 8% to 29% vs. 0%, 95% CI = 0% to 13%). The most common side effects due to opioids were tiredness, nausea, and constipation.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older adults initiating treatment with opioid-containing analgesics for musculoskeletal pain, side effects were common and sometimes resulted in medication discontinuation.

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
24033733
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"