Skip Page Header

Home > Trends in strong opioid prescribing in Ireland: A repeated cross-sectional analysis of a national pharmacy claims database between 2010 and 2019.

Norris, Brid A and Smith, Amelia and Doran, Stephen and Barry, Michael (2021) Trends in strong opioid prescribing in Ireland: A repeated cross-sectional analysis of a national pharmacy claims database between 2010 and 2019. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, 30, (8), pp. 1003-1011. https://doi.org/10.1002/pds.5247.

External website: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pds.52...

PURPOSE
Significant increases in opioid utilisation have been reported in many countries in recent decades. This study investigated strong opioid prescribing in Irish General Medical Services (GMS) patients over a 10-year period.

METHODS
A retrospective repeated cross-sectional analysis of a national pharmacy claims database between January 2010 and December 2019 was conducted. Strong opioid prescribing in GMS patients was evaluated, including by route of administration, age (16-64 years and ≥65 years) and gender. Measures of consumption included prescribing prevalence and defined daily dose (DDD)/1000 population/day. Prevalence ratios (PRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and percentage and absolute changes were determined.

RESULTS
Strong opioid prescribing prevalence increased from 14.43% in 2010 to 16.28% in 2019, with the greatest increase in the ≥65 years age group. Tramadol was the most frequently prescribed product, constituting 63.9% of total strong opioid prescribing. The prescribing prevalence of oxycodone increased from 0.95% in 2010 to 2.68% in 2019 (PR 2.81, 95% CI 2.76, 2.87), with steep increases in oxycodone-naloxone since it became available (PR 5.23, 95% CI 4.98, 5.50). The prescribing prevalence of tapentadol increased from 0.18% to 1.58% between 2012 (first complete year available for reimbursement) and 2019 (PR 8.79, 95% CI 8.43, 9.16). Strong opioid prescribing was highest in females aged ≥65 years.

CONCLUSIONS
This study found an overall increase in strong opioid prescribing in Ireland between 2010 and 2019, particularly in older adults. Tramadol was the most frequently prescribed product, with oxycodone and tapentadol prescribing increasing markedly over the study period.


Item Type
Article
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Opioid, Prescription/Over the counter
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction
Date
August 2021
Identification #
https://doi.org/10.1002/pds.5247
Page Range
pp. 1003-1011
Publisher
Wiley
Volume
30
Number
8
EndNote

Repository Staff Only: item control page