- The rate of coprescribed benzodiazepines and opioids among adults aged 65 years or older in the United States more than doubled between 2006 and 2015.
- Women, patients with an anxiety disorder, and those with chronic health conditions were more likely to have coprescriptions.
Why this matters
- Nearly one-third of all opioid overdose deaths in the United States involve coprescribed benzodiazepines.
- The study used data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to evaluate a nationally representative sample of 109,149 office-based physician visits by older adults (aged, ≥65 years) between 2006 and 2015.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Between 2006 and 2015, 14.6% of visits listed benzodiazepine, opioid, or both medications prescribed.
- Coprescribing rate of benzodiazepines and opioids increased from 1.1% in 2006-2007 to 2.7% in 2014-2015 (P<.001>
- Women (aOR, 1.45; P<.001 patients with an anxiety disorder p and those chronic health conditions were more likely to have coprescriptions.>
- Rate of prescription benzodiazepines only increased from 4.8% in 2006-2007 to 6.2% in 2014-2015 (P<.001 whereas prescription opioids only increased from in to>
- Prescriptions ordered by phone not included.
- Possibility of incomplete patient information.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD