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Variation in Use of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Critically Ill Patients Across the United States.

OBJECTIVES: To describe practice patterns surrounding the use of medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD) in critically ill patients.

DESIGN: Retrospective, multicenter, observational study using the Premier AI Healthcare Database.

SETTING: The study was conducted in U.S. ICUs.

PATIENTS: Adult (≥ 18 yr old) patients with a history of opioid use disorder (OUD) admitted to an ICU between 2016 and 2020.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 108,189 ICU patients (658 hospitals) with a history of OUD, 20,508 patients (19.0%) received MOUD. Of patients receiving MOUD, 13,745 (67.0%) received methadone, 2,950 (14.4%) received buprenorphine, and 4,227 (20.6%) received buprenorphine/naloxone. MOUD use occurred in 37.9% of patients who received invasive mechanical ventilation. The median day of MOUD initiation was hospital day 2 (interquartile range [IQR] 1-3) and the median duration of MOUD use was 4 days (IQR 2-8). MOUD use per hospital was highly variable (median 16.0%; IQR 10-24; range, 0-70.0%); admitting hospital explained 8.9% of variation in MOUD use. A primary admitting diagnosis of unintentional poisoning (aOR 0.41; 95% CI, 0.38-0.45), presence of an additional substance use disorder (aOR 0.66; 95% CI, 0.64-0.68), and factors indicating greater severity of illness were associated with reduced odds of receiving MOUD in the ICU.

CONCLUSIONS: In a large multicenter, retrospective study, there was large variation in the use of MOUD among ICU patients with a history of OUD. These results inform future studies seeking to optimize the approach to MOUD use during critical illness.

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