Neurology Times: Risks of Opioid Use in Migraine Go Beyond Potential Abuse
By Leo Robert
The use of opioids in patients with migraine is common but carries a high degree of risk. Presenters at the American Headache Society 61st Annual Scientific Meeting, held July 11–14 in Philadelphia, addressed various aspects of this growing problem.
Jennifer Bickel, MD, Neurologist and Medical Director of the Headache Program at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, MO, and coauthors recently conducted a study to evaluate opioids used for treating migraine in adolescents and young adults in emergency care settings. The likelihood of being treated with opioids was significantly higher for patients who were older, female, white, and seen by a surgeon and who had longer and earlier encounters. Higher rates of encounters involving opioids were associated with smaller sites that had relatively higher proportions of commercially insured patients. The authors suggested that the findings “may be helpful for benchmarking and informing quality improvement efforts aimed at reducing unwarranted opioid exposure in youth.”
Review authors suggested another reason to avoid opioids in headache and migraine treatment—opioids are overused because physicians may be unfamiliar with drug interactions between opioids and other medications, especially the possibility of serotonin toxicity.
Read the full story via Neurology Times
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