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Incidence and predictors of new persistent opioid use following inflammatory bowel disease flares treated with oral corticosteroids.

Noureldin M, Higgins PDR, Govani SM, Cohen-Mekelburg S, Kenney BC, Stidham RW, Waljee JF, Waljee AK. Incidence and predictors of new persistent opioid use following inflammatory bowel disease flares treated with oral corticosteroids. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2019 Jan 1; 49(1):74-83.

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BACKGROUND: Opioids are commonly prescribed to manage pain associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is unknown what percentage of patients develop new persistent opioid use following a steroid-treated IBD flare. AIM: To identify the incidence and the predictors of new persistent opioid use following an IBD flare. METHODS: We used a national insurance claim dataset to identify patients with IBD who received an opioid medication around the time of a corticosteroid-treated IBD flare. Patients were stratified as previously opioid naïve, intermittent users, or chronic users. The incidence of persistent opioid use among the opioid-naïve cohort was evaluated along with associated predictors. RESULTS: We identified 15 119 IBD patients who received opioids around the time of a flare. 5411 (35.8%) were opioid-naïve patients of which 35.0% developed persistent opioid use after the flare. Factors associated with new persistent opioid use include a history of depression (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-1.47), substance abuse (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.2-1.54), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.04-1.3), as well as, Crohn''s disease (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.14-1.4) or indeterminate colitis (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.36-1.88). CONCLUSIONS: New persistent opioid use is common in IBD patients who experience a flare, especially among those with mental health disorders, COPD, and Crohn''s disease or indeterminate colitis. These findings can be helpful in risk-stratifying patients when choosing an acute pain therapy and providing counselling before choosing to prescribe opioids to opioid-naïve patients experiencing an IBD flare.

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