Drug disposal bags decrease opioid misuse after pediatric surgeries

  • Lawrence AE & al.
  • JAMA Pediatr
  • 24 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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

  • Providing a drug disposal bag in addition to standard discharge instructions to families of children receiving postoperative opioids increases the proper disposal rate by about 20%.

Why this matters

  • Access to drug disposal products may complement efforts to reduce prescriptions in the fight against opioid addiction.

Study design

  • Randomized study of 202 families of children (aged 1-17 years) who underwent otolaryngologic or urologic surgery and received an opioid prescription.
  • Families were randomly assigned either to receive a drug disposal bag (n=103) on discharge or to standard care (n=99).
  • Funding: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Key results

  • Families who received a drug disposal bag reported a significantly higher rate of proper disposal vs those who received standard care.
    • In intent-to-treat population: 71.7% vs 56.2% (P=.03).
    • In per protocol population (families who had leftover opioids after resolution of child’s pain): 85.7% vs 64.9% (difference in proportions, 20.8%; 95% CI, 7.6%-34.0%).

Limitations  

  • Single-center study.
  • Study included young children only.

  Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD