Opioid analgesia in necrotizing pancreatitis: Incidence and timing of a hidden crisis

S. P. McGuire, M. P. Anderson, T. K. Maatman, A. M. Roch, J. R. Butler, E. P. Ceppa, M. G. House, A. Nakeeb, T. K. Nguyen, C. M. Schmidt, N. J. Zyromski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Rates of opioid usage during necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) disease course are unknown. We hypothesized that a significant number of NP patients were prescribed opioid analgesics chronically. Methods: Single institution IRB-approved retrospective study of 230 NP patients treated between 2015 and 2019. Results: Data were available for 198/230 (86%) patients. 166/198 (84%) were discharged from their index hospitalization with a prescription for an opioid. At the first clinic visit following hospitalization, 110/182 (60%) were using opioids. Six months after disease onset, 72/163 (44%) continued to require opioids. At disease resolution, 38/144 (26%) patients remained on opioid medications. The rate of active opioid prescriptions at six months after disease onset declined throughout the period studied from 68% in 2015 to 39% in 2019. Conclusions: Opioid prescriptions are common in NP. Despite decline over time, 1 in 4 patients remain on opioids at disease resolution. These data identify an opportunity to adjust analgesic prescription practice in NP patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-930
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


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