Home > Rates of reported codeine-related poisonings and codeine prescribing following new national guidance in Ireland.

Kennedy, Cormac and Duggan, Edel and Bennett, Kathleen and Williams, David J (2019) Rates of reported codeine-related poisonings and codeine prescribing following new national guidance in Ireland. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety , 28 , (1) , pp. 106-111.

PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to examine a national database to assess codeine poisonings before and after the new guidance for pharmacists while also evaluating rates of codeine prescriptions following the introduction of restrictions on supply.

METHODS: Anonymised enquiry data of reported poisoning cases were reviewed for a period from 2005 to 2016 inclusive. The rate of pharmacy claims for codeine containing products was also examined using the national pharmacy claims database. Segmented regression analysis was used to detect changes in poisonings and claims before and after the new guidance.

RESULTS: There were 1851 codeine-related poisonings reported over the study period. An annual decline was evident with a significant 33% reduction from 2010 to 2011 (β2 coefficient for level change, 42.1; 95% CI, -68.1 to -16.0; P = 0.006). Following 2011, the declining rate of codeine poisonings plateaued. Analysis of the national pharmacy claims data revealed no change in the reimbursement rate for co-codamol products restricted by the guidance in 2010 (Incidence rate ratio 1.04, 95% CI, 0.997-1.08; P = 0.07). There was no corresponding increase in the reimbursement of alternative opioid medications.

CONCLUSIONS: New guidance on codeine supply coincided with an initial reduction in reported codeine poisoning cases. This reduction was in keeping with the previous trend. However, this was without an increase in the prevailing rate of prescription claims for these products or potential substitutes. Policymakers may consider further restriction of codeine products to improve public health outcomes.

Item Type:Article
Page Range:pp. 106-111
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Opioids (opiates) > Opioid product > Codeine
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Over the counter drug (medicine / medication)
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Drug use > Drug intoxication > Poisoning (overdose)
N Communication, information and education > Recommendations or guidelines > Practice / clinical guidelines
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
T Demographic characteristics > Pharmacist
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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