Opioid Safety and Concomitant Benzodiazepine Use in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients.Pain Res Manag. 2019; 2019:3865924.PR
Opioid use is common in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. However, safety of individual opioids and concomitant benzodiazepine use has not been studied.
To study the epidemiology of opioid and concomitant benzodiazepine use in ESRD population. To study the clinical safety profile of individual opioids in patients on hemodialysis.
Retrospective analysis of the U.S. Renal Data System. A comprehensive review of the current literature was performed to update currently used opioid safety classification.
ESRD patients ≥18 years on hemodialysis who were enrolled in Medicare A and B and Part D between 2006 and 2012, excluding those with malignancy.
Hospital admission with diagnosis of prescription opioid overdose within 30, 60, and 90 days of prescription; death due to opioid overdose.
Annually, the percentage of patients prescribed any opioid was 52.2%. Overall trend has been increasing except for a small dip in 2011, despite which the admissions due to opioid overdose have been rising. 30% of those who got a prescription for opioids also got a benzodiazepine prescription. 56.5% of these patients received both prescriptions within a week of each other. Benzodiazepine use increased the odds of being on opioids by 3.27 (CI 3.21-3.32) and increased the odds of hospitalization by 50%. Opioids considered safe such as fentanyl and methadone were associated with 3 and 6 folds higher odds of hospitalization within 30 days of prescription. Hydrocodone had the lowest odds ratio (1.9, CI 1.8-2.0).
Concurrent benzodiazepine use is common and associated with higher risk of hospitalization due to opioid overdose. Possible opioid-associated hospital admission rate is 4-5 times bigger in ESRD population than general population. Current safety classification of opioids in these patients is misleading, and even drugs considered safe based on pharmacokinetic data are associated with moderate to very high risk of hospitalization. We propose a risk-stratified classification of opioids and suggest starting to use them in all ESRD patients.