Are opioids being inappropriately prescribed to treat gout?

opioids
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Although there are effective treatments for gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, a new Arthritis Care & Research study found that opioids are commonly prescribed to patients with gout who seek treatment at emergency departments.

In the study of 456 patients with acute gout discharged from emergency departments in Rhode Island, more than 28% received an opioid prescription. Of these, more than one-quarter of patients received 14 days or more of opioid prescriptions, longer than the natural course of a typical gout attack. Diabetes, gout attacks affecting multiple joints, and opioid use prior to admission were associated with an increased likelihood of receiving .

"We have a number of medications that can treat acute gout effectively, almost completely eliminating the need to use opioids. The fact that 28% of patients are being treated with opioids, and many longer than 2 weeks, is alarming and provides an opportunity to reduce the burden of prescription opioids," said co-lead author Deepan Dalal, MD, MPH, of Brown University Warren Alpert School of Medicine, in Providence.


Explore further

Shedding light on 'black box' of inpatient opioid use

More information: Deepan S. Dalal et al, Prescription Opioid Use among Acute Gout Patients Discharged from the Emergency Department, Arthritis Care & Research (2019). DOI: 10.1002/acr.23928
Journal information: Arthritis Care & Research

Provided by Wiley
Citation: Are opioids being inappropriately prescribed to treat gout? (2019, July 3) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-opioids-inappropriately-gout.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more