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Research Letter
June 25, 2019

Association Between Quantity of Opioids Prescribed After Surgery or Preoperative Opioid Use Education With Opioid Consumption

Author Affiliations
  • 1Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA. 2019;321(24):2465-2467. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6125

Prescribing a greater quantity of opioids than needed after surgery has been associated with the development of addiction.1 Lowering default opioid prescription quantities in an electronic medical record system has been shown to reduce the amount of opioids prescribed after surgery.2 However, the effect of reduced prescription quantities on actual patient opioid consumption remains undetermined. Additionally, patient education may also play a role in decreasing excess postoperative opioid use.3 We assessed whether reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed would decrease postoperative opioid consumption, and whether preoperative opioid use education would further reduce the amount taken.