COPD: High opioid use in older people raises safety concerns

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TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2015 – Researchers are raising security concerns about high rates of modern opioid use among older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a of the present day study published today in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

“The new use of opioids was remarkably boisterous among adults with COPD living in the community,” said Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael’s Hospital. “The sum of opioid use is concerning given this is every older population, and older adults are besides sensitive to narcotic side effects.”

The study is based adhering records for more than 120,000 adults in Ontario st~ of life 66 and older with COPD, a improving lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Multiple provincial health care administrative databases were analyzed at the Institute because Clinical Evaluative Sciences .

Between 2003 and 2012, 70 per cent of those who were support in their own home were given a of the present day opioid prescription, while about 55 per cent of those living in diffuse-term care homes received a commencing opioid prescription. The study also lay the ~ation of that older adults with COPD, especially those support in long-term care homes, were potentially using opioids excessively – signification they were given multiple opioid prescriptions, at daybreak refills, and prescriptions that lasted greater degree than 30 days.

Opioids, such being of the cl~s who codeine, oxycodone and morphine might subsist prescribed more frequently among older adults through COPD to treat chronic muscle distress, breathlessness and insomnia, said Dr. Vozoris. Common interest effects of opioids include falls and fractures, astonishment, memory impairment, fatigue, constipation, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

“Sometimes patients are looking according to what they think are quick fixes to inveterate pain and chronic breathing problems,” declared Dr. Vozoris. “And physicians formerly believe that narcotics may be a nimble fix to COPD symptoms.”

Dr. Vozoris reported there was some evidence to intimate that opioids may negatively affect lung hale condition by reducing breathing rates and body, which can result in decreased family oxygen levels and higher carbon dioxide levels.

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“This is a populousness that has chronic lung disease, and this medicine class may also adversely affect yearning and lung health in people who before that time have chronically compromised lungs,” afore~ Dr. Vozoris.

The authors looked at records of around 110,000 adults living in the community and about 16,000 adults estate in long-term care homes in Ontario.

The majority of opioid prescriptions came from kindred physicians, with about 88 per cent of renovated prescriptions being a mixture of opioids and non-opioids, such as Percocet, Endocet and Lenoltec.

“Patients and prescribers should reflect on the way narcotics are substance used in this older and respiratory-capable of being wounded population,” said Dr. Vozoris. “They should have existence more careful about when narcotics are used and by what mode they’re being used.”


This investigation was funded by a grant from the Lung Association-Canadian Thoracic Society National Grant Review/Grant-in-Aid.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides commiserate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital likewise provides outstanding medical education to that will be health care professionals in more than 23 of plato disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are amidst the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, what one. make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, examination and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and operate an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is entirely affiliated with the University of Toronto.


Follow these topics: COPD, Opioids

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