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J Pain Res. 2012;5:237-42. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S32603. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

A review of opioid prescription in a teaching hospital in Colombia.

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Anesthesia Department, Pain Service, Hospital Universitario Fundación Santafé de Bogotá, Avenida 9 No 117-20, Bogotá, Republic of Colombia;



Review of opioid prescriptions in a hospital provides valuable information to health care professionals which may contribute to proper pain management; opioid utilization studies may help uncover factors that can be improved for better prescribing. To evaluate the use of opioid analgesics in a university hospital, a review of opioids prescribed in hospitalized patients was developed.


Information was obtained from the pharmacy database and medical records. The study period was 1 month.


Medical records of 1156 patients admitted in July 2009 were analyzed. The most widely prescribed opioid was tramadol; the preferred administration route was intravenous; the main indication was severe pain; and major prescribers were from surgical departments.


Underutilization of potent opioids for acute and chronic pain seems to occur.


Most prescribers prefer weak opioids, given intravenously to treat acute and chronic pain, while some patients may benefit from the prescription of more potent opioids.


drug utilization; hydromorphone; morphine; pain; pethidine; tramadol

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