Opioid Agonist Therapy Use in Hospital Increased to 5.6 Percent in 2020

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com.

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 18, 2023 -- Among hospital encounters for opioid toxicity, opioid agonist therapy (OAT) initiation increased from 2013 to 2020, reaching 5.6 percent, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Tina Hu, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, population-based serial cross-sectional study of hospital encounters for opioid toxicity among patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2020; 20,702 hospital visits for opioid toxicity were included. The primary outcome was initiation of OAT (methadone, buprenorphine-naloxone, or slow-release oral morphine) within seven days of discharge.

The researchers found that the percentage of visits leading to OAT initiation within seven days increased from 1.7 percent or less (quarter [Q]1 2013) to 5.6 percent (Q1 2020). There was no association observed for publication of the Canadian OUD management guideline in 2018 with a significant increase in these rates (slope change, 0.14 percent).

"The release of a national guideline advocating for buprenorphine-naloxone as first-line therapy did not appear to substantially influence OAT initiation rates, suggesting that additional efforts are needed to improve initiation of OAT in acute care settings," the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving payment for expert testimony from multiple law firms related to individual actions involving opioids; one author is perceived to have an intellectual competing interest.

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Disclaimer: Statistical data in medical articles provide general trends and do not pertain to individuals. Individual factors can vary greatly. Always seek personalized medical advice for individual healthcare decisions.

Source: HealthDay

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