- Nearly 30% of patients seen in the ED for acute gout received an opioid prescription, even though other treatments are available.
- More than one-quarter of those received a 14-day prescription, which is longer than the typical gout attack.
Why this matters
- Prior research suggests that NSAIDs and steroids reduce pain and disability associated with gout within the first 6-18 hours of treatment.
- Study of 456 patients (age, ≥18 years) who visited emergency department (ED) with acute gout during 2015-2017.
- Outcome: Frequency, dose, and duration of opioids prescribed at discharge.
- Funding: No external funding.
- 28.3% of the patients received opioid prescription at discharge.
- Average daily opioid dose was 37.9 mg of morphine equivalents.
- 81% of the patients used oxycodone or oxycodone combinations.
- Median duration of the opioid prescription was 8 (interquartile range, 5-14) days.
- More than one-quarter of these patients received 14-day prescriptions.
- Factors associated with ≥2-fold higher risk of opioid prescription at discharge were:
- Polyarticular gout attack (aOR, 2.02; 95% Cl, 1.05-3.90);
- Diabetes (aOR, 2.04; 95% Cl, 1.15-3.60).
- Retrospective study design.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD