Opioid Scripts for Acute Pain in Primary Care: Factors Affecting Refill within 30 Days

April 15, 2019
Steven A. King, MD, MS
Steven A. King, MD, MS

When acute pain seen in primary care is treated with an initial opioid Rx, what factors are related to request for refill within 30 days?

Management of acute pain is one of the primary indications for opioid analgesics. Prescriptions intended for short-term use, however, are under increasing scrutiny for potential contribution to the epidemic misuse of the drugs; in many regions limits are now imposed on number of pills and number of refills.  Mundkur et al sought to identify factors that would help clinicians assess which patients might have more difficulty discontinuing opioids than others after expected resolution of acute pain. The study, highlighted in the slides below, was published online, Feb 15, 2019 by Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Dr King is a pain physician in private practice in Philadelphia, Penn.