A new analysis shows that more than half of teens and young adults in the U.S. with sarcoma, a type of bone or soft tissue cancer, are often prescribed opioids to treat pain. Nearly a quarter of these patients continue to use opioids after completing treatment according to Wiley’s online results. CANCERpeer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

People with sarcoma often experience bone injuries and fractures and undergo major surgery. opioids. It is unclear whether this increases their number young patients‘risk for opioid abuse and overdose.

Melissa Beauchemin, Ph.D., RN, CPNP-PC, CPON, of Columbia University School of Nursing, and her colleagues tried to determine the frequency of new ongoing opioid use among adolescents and young adults treated for sarcoma. Continuous opioid use was determined by at least two opioid prescriptions within 12 months of completing treatment.

The team took from a large database of insurance claims to analyze information on patients aged 10-26 years who had not previously received opioids and who had been diagnosed with sarcoma between 2008 and 2016.

Among the 938 patients in the analysis, 64% received prescription opioids during treatment. Upon completion cancer therapy14% of patients in general and 23% of those who used opioids during treatment continued to use opioids and met the criteria for new continuous use. Medicaid coverage compared to commercial insurance, the presence of bone tumors against soft tissue tumors, and concomitant use of lorazepam (a drug often used to treat anxiety and sleep problems) were associated with continued opioid use.

“Adolescents and young adults are vulnerable because they have benefited less than young and older cancer patients from recent advances. These results underscore the need to monitor young sarcoma patients for opioid use after treatment, given the potential negative consequences long-term opioids ”. use, including misuse and overdose, “said Dr. Boshemin.” Urgently appropriate age- and developmental strategies are urgently needed to effectively combat pain while minimizing opioid exposure. ”

Dr Boshemin stressed that for adolescents and young people who need opioids for effective analgesia, the priority should be early and safe cessation of opioid use to reduce the long-term negative effects of their use and misuse. “In addition, there is an urgent need clinical practice instructions to support clinical decision making to safely and effectively combat pain specifically for adolescents and young adults with cancer, ”she said.

The study identifies risk factors for pediatric opioid dependence after surgery

Additional information:
New persistent opioid use among adolescents and young adults with sarcoma, Cancer (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / cncr.34238

Citation: Experts stress the importance of monitoring opioid use after treatment in young patients with sarcoma (2022, May 23), obtained May 23, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-experts-stress-importance- post-treatment -opioid.html

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