Prevalence of Opioid Rx Fills After Vaginal Delivery Examined

28.2% of those who filled prescriptions had a pain-inducing condition
28.2% of those who filled prescriptions had a pain-inducing condition

(HealthDay News) — Twelve percent of women fill an outpatient opioid prescription within five days of vaginal delivery, according to a study published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Marian Jarlenski, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 164,720 Medicaid-enrolled women who delivered a liveborn neonate vaginally from 2008 to 2013. The authors examined the prevalence of filled opioid prescriptions after delivery and the correlation between patient characteristics and odds of a filled opioid prescription.

The researchers found that 12 percent of women filled an outpatient opioid prescription five days or less after vaginal delivery; 14 percent of these women filled a second opioid prescription at six to 60 days after delivery (1.6 percent of total). Of the women who filled a prescription within five days of delivery, 28.2 percent had one or more pain-inducing conditions. Tobacco use and a mental health condition were predictors of filled opioid prescriptions with no observed pain-inducing condition at delivery (adjusted odds ratios, 1.3 and 1.3). Having a diagnosis of substance use disorder other than opioid use disorder correlated with having a second opioid prescription six to 60 days after delivery (adjusted odds ratio, 1.4).

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"National opioid-prescribing recommendations for common obstetrics procedures such as vaginal delivery are warranted," the authors write.

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