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Research Letter
August 14, 2019

Variability in Opioid-Prescribing Patterns in Endocrine Surgery and Discordance With Patient Use

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. Published online August 14, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2518

Prescription opioid abuse has become a considerable problem in the United States, with prevalence increasing over the last 2 decades.1 Overprescription of opioid medications contributes to the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse, with less than 40% of prescribed pills actually being used by patients.2 Recent studies have found that the quantity of opioids prescribed varied significantly by clinician for the same operation within the same institution.1,3 Factors contributing to overprescription of opioids include a deficiency of standardized prescribing guidelines for patients after surgery and a lack of prescriber education around options for nonopioid pain medications.

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