HealthDay News – Older teens may have similar risk factors for prescription opioid overdose as adults, according to a study published online December 16 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD, from University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used the IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database (July 1, 2009, to October 1, 2017) to identify opioid prescribing patterns associated with prescription opioid overdose in adolescents and young adults.

The researchers found that based on the 2752612 patients (mean age at baseline, 17.2 years; 52.8% female) included in the study, there were 4686355 opioid prescription claims (21605444 person-days). Overdose occurred in 249 patients (0.01%) on 255 person-days. There was a higher overdose risk associated with each increase in daily opioid dosage category (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.18). Both concurrent benzodiazepine use (aOR, 1.83) and extended-release or long-acting opioid use (aOR, 2.01) were associated with increased overdose risk compared with no use.

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“The findings suggest that when prescribing opioids to adolescents and young adults, practitioners could potentially mitigate overdose risk by using the lowest effective dosage, avoiding concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, and relying on short-acting opioids,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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