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Type and Frequency of Opioid Pain Medications Returned for Disposal.

Welham GC, Mount JK, Gilson AM - Drugs Real World Outcomes (2015)

Bottom Line: These findings indicate that disposal programs are effective at removing unused medication from patient homes.Continual monitoring of quantities prescribed and returned for disposal may be useful in evaluating the effects of these programs on leftover medication.Further research on drug characteristics may inform prescribing practices and reduce leftover medication.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Social Administrative Sciences Division, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 777 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705 USA.

ABSTRACT

Prescription opioids have increasingly been involved in overdose deaths and treatment admissions. Disposal programs may play an important role in curbing this trend. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the prescription opioids returned for disposal to a local take-back program, and (2) explore selected drug characteristics that may predict the quantity of unused opioids. Leftover prescription opioid medications returned for disposal to a community drug take-back event were quantified and analyzed according to controlled substances schedule, formulation, number of active ingredients, and directions for use. Days' supply of medication remaining, calculated using the number of dosage units remaining divided by the maximum number of dosage units per day allowed by the prescriber, was the primary outcome variable. Opioid prescriptions returned for disposal had greater than 60 % of the amount dispensed remaining unused. Short-acting C-II and C-III combination opioids accounted for greater than 80 % of the prescriptions returned. Day supply dispensed was the strongest predictor of day supply remaining, regardless of other drug characteristics. These findings indicate that disposal programs are effective at removing unused medication from patient homes. To reduce leftover medication, prescriber education programs should address the amount to be prescribed. Continual monitoring of quantities prescribed and returned for disposal may be useful in evaluating the effects of these programs on leftover medication. Further research on drug characteristics may inform prescribing practices and reduce leftover medication.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Comparisons of drug characteristics. a Dosage units dispensed. b Dosage units remaining. c Days supply dispensed. d Days supply remaining
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Fig1: Comparisons of drug characteristics. a Dosage units dispensed. b Dosage units remaining. c Days supply dispensed. d Days supply remaining

Mentions: Four long-acting/extended-release products were included in the returned medications; they accounted for approximately 11 % of all prescriptions and all dosage units returned for disposal (Table 1). Analysis of dosage units and days’ supply (Fig. 1) showed that smaller amounts of short-acting medications were dispensed and returned for disposal compared with long-acting/extended-release products. In this sample, patients used a 2.5 days’ supply of short-acting medications versus a 14 days’ supply of long-acting/extended-release products. Short-acting medications were returned for disposal with a significantly larger percentage of the dispensed amount remaining, compared with long-acting/extended-release products (64.2 ± 31.6 % vs. 51.5 ± 29.5 %, p = 0.002, not shown in figure).Fig. 1


Type and Frequency of Opioid Pain Medications Returned for Disposal.

Welham GC, Mount JK, Gilson AM - Drugs Real World Outcomes (2015)

Comparisons of drug characteristics. a Dosage units dispensed. b Dosage units remaining. c Days supply dispensed. d Days supply remaining
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543833&req=5

Fig1: Comparisons of drug characteristics. a Dosage units dispensed. b Dosage units remaining. c Days supply dispensed. d Days supply remaining
Mentions: Four long-acting/extended-release products were included in the returned medications; they accounted for approximately 11 % of all prescriptions and all dosage units returned for disposal (Table 1). Analysis of dosage units and days’ supply (Fig. 1) showed that smaller amounts of short-acting medications were dispensed and returned for disposal compared with long-acting/extended-release products. In this sample, patients used a 2.5 days’ supply of short-acting medications versus a 14 days’ supply of long-acting/extended-release products. Short-acting medications were returned for disposal with a significantly larger percentage of the dispensed amount remaining, compared with long-acting/extended-release products (64.2 ± 31.6 % vs. 51.5 ± 29.5 %, p = 0.002, not shown in figure).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: These findings indicate that disposal programs are effective at removing unused medication from patient homes.Continual monitoring of quantities prescribed and returned for disposal may be useful in evaluating the effects of these programs on leftover medication.Further research on drug characteristics may inform prescribing practices and reduce leftover medication.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Social Administrative Sciences Division, School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 777 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705 USA.

ABSTRACT

Prescription opioids have increasingly been involved in overdose deaths and treatment admissions. Disposal programs may play an important role in curbing this trend. The objectives of this study were to: (1) quantify the prescription opioids returned for disposal to a local take-back program, and (2) explore selected drug characteristics that may predict the quantity of unused opioids. Leftover prescription opioid medications returned for disposal to a community drug take-back event were quantified and analyzed according to controlled substances schedule, formulation, number of active ingredients, and directions for use. Days' supply of medication remaining, calculated using the number of dosage units remaining divided by the maximum number of dosage units per day allowed by the prescriber, was the primary outcome variable. Opioid prescriptions returned for disposal had greater than 60 % of the amount dispensed remaining unused. Short-acting C-II and C-III combination opioids accounted for greater than 80 % of the prescriptions returned. Day supply dispensed was the strongest predictor of day supply remaining, regardless of other drug characteristics. These findings indicate that disposal programs are effective at removing unused medication from patient homes. To reduce leftover medication, prescriber education programs should address the amount to be prescribed. Continual monitoring of quantities prescribed and returned for disposal may be useful in evaluating the effects of these programs on leftover medication. Further research on drug characteristics may inform prescribing practices and reduce leftover medication.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus