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January 9, 2020

Minimizing Excess Opioid Prescribing for Acute Postoperative Pain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 4UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 5Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago
  • 6Associate Editor, JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(3):228-230. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.4209

The United States is struggling with an epidemic of opioid abuse driven in part by postoperative opioid prescribing patterns. Opioid prescribing after surgery is one of the most common methods of initial opioid exposure and places patients at risk of developing opioid dependency. In otolaryngology, 6% of the patients who are opioid-naive develop postoperative iatrogenic opioid dependency,1 which contributes considerably to the epidemic because approximately 16 million otolaryngology operations are performed each year globally.2

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