WEDNESDAY, Could 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — May giving surgical procedure sufferers ready-to-use mailed disposal kits for unused opioids decrease the danger of abuse of the medication?
Sure, claims a brand new examine that discovered sufferers with unused opioid ache drugs are more likely to eliminate them correctly when given the kits.
There is a threat that leftover opioid drugs could also be misused by the individual they have been prescribed to or by others. In the event that they’re put within the trash, they might be discovered by youngsters or animals, or might hurt the atmosphere. Flushing them down the bathroom additionally poses environmental dangers, the researchers defined.
There are secure disposal websites, similar to sure pharmacies, however sufferers usually do not use them as a result of they could be out of the way in which or it takes further effort.
On this examine, College of Pennsylvania researchers assessed whether or not mailed secure disposal kits would possibly make a distinction.
The examine included 235 sufferers who have been prescribed opioid painkillers after orthopedic or urologic procedures. The same old process was adopted for about half of the sufferers, who have been texted directions to eliminate their unused drugs together with a hyperlink to places of native secure disposal websites.
The opposite sufferers acquired the identical textual content message however have been mailed disposal kits 4 to seven days after their procedures.
Leftover opioids have been disposed of correctly by 60% of those that acquired the disposal equipment, in contrast with 43% of the sufferers who did not obtain the kits, the investigators discovered.
Some research present that solely about 20% to 30% of U.S. sufferers correctly eliminate unused opioid drugs, so these findings counsel that mailed disposal kits might double or triple that charge, in accordance with the authors of the examine printed on-line Could 6 in JAMA Community Open.
The researchers famous that using mailed disposal kits by 125 sufferers within the examine resulted within the secure disposal of 480 unused opioid drugs.
“I used to be happy to see that such a easy, ‘snail mail’ method might change conduct and promote self-reported disposal,” mentioned examine lead creator Dr. Anish Agarwal, an assistant professor of emergency drugs and chief wellness officer of the division of emergency drugs at Penn Drugs.
“The opioid epidemic clearly continues to be entrance and heart for sufferers, and the issues with opioid use and misuse have gotten an actual a part of the dialog between physicians and sufferers,” Agarwal added in a college information launch. “I believe sufferers are extra conscious of the dangers and penalties of utilizing opioids and storing them of their houses.”
For extra on the secure disposal of medicine, go to the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies.
SOURCE: College of Pennsylvania, information launch, Could 6, 2022