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J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2017 Sep - Dec;31(3-4):218-227. doi: 10.1080/15360288.2017.1407860. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

Prevalence of and Comorbid Health Conditions Associated With Pediatric Prescription Opioid Use in the US.


Prescription opioids are among the most effective analgesics to treat moderate to severe pain; however, little is known about the use of prescription opioids in children, particularly those receiving an extended-release formulation for the treatment of chronic pain. In this retrospective study, the authors determined the prevalence of prescription opioid use among 7-17-year-old children and associated comorbid health conditions from 2010 to 2013 using Truven Health MarketScan (MarketScan) and Optum Clinformatics DataMart (Optum). The primary end points were prevalence of using any prescription opioids, using only prescription short-acting opioids (SAOs), and at least one prescription of a long-acting opioid (LAO). The prevalence of prescription opioid use among children is non-negligible and has been trending downwards: 6.90% in 2010 and 5.93% in 2013 using MarketScan and a similar trend using Optum: 5.47% in 2010 and 4.51% in 2013. Very few children had claims for LAOs, with only 0.04% (4979 children) in MarketScan and 0.03% (1117 children) in Optum. Given the very small number of children, primarily in the 12-17 age group, who are prescribed LAOs, there is a need to focus on a better understanding of the patterns of SAO use in children.


Chronic pain; comorbidities; opioids; pediatric

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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