In 2020, researchers conducted a controlled study assessing whether patients who were provided a prescription for opioids and instructed to only fill the prescription if absolutely necessary would consume fewer opioids than patients whose opioid prescription was automatically included.
Patients undergoing meniscus surgery were provided non-opioid pain control, and randomized to receive oxycodone as either included with their multimodal pain medications (group 1) or given an optional prescription to fill (group 2).
Offering optional opioid prescriptions in the setting of a multimodal approach to pain control can significantly reduce the number of unused opioids circulating in the community.
After analyzing the data, the researchers conducting the study found that:
- Patients required a minimal number of opioids after knee arthroscopic surgery with partial meniscectomy.
- There was no significant reduction in the number of pills taken whether the opioid prescription was included in the pain control regimen or patients were given an option to fill the prescription if needed.
- Offering optional opioid prescriptions in the setting of a multimodal approach to pain control can significantly reduce the number of unused opioids circulating in the community.
Access the full study: Can We Eliminate Opioid Medications for Postoperative Pain Control? A Prospective, Surgeon-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial in Knee Arthroscopic Surgery