Coprescribed benzodiazepine+opioids on the rise in elderly patients

  • Rhee TG
  • J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
  • 17 Dec 2018

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • 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.

Study design

  • 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.

Key results

  • 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>

Limitations

  • Prescriptions ordered by phone not included.
  • Possibility of incomplete patient information.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD