Short-acting and Long-acting Opioids Utilization among Women Diagnosed with Endometriosis in the United States: A Population-based Claims Study.J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 02; 28(2):297-306.e2.JM
To determine the prevalence and pattern of opioid use in endometriosis and the characteristics of patients prescribed an opioid using medical insurance claims data.
We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of data from the Truven MarketScan Commercial database for the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016.
The Truven database includes inpatient, outpatient, and prescription claims covering more than 115 million unique individuals and over 36 million inpatient hospital discharges across multiple payer types and all 50 states.
Women with endometriosis were defined as those with 1 inpatient or 2 outpatient codes for endometriosis.
No interventions were assigned. Women who filled an opioid prescription within 12 months of diagnosis were placed in the opioid cohort and women who did not fill an opioid prescription were placed in the nonopioid cohort.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Baseline characteristics were evaluated 12 months preindex (date of the first diagnosis) and opioid use was assessed for 12 months after the index date. The dataset included 58 472 women with endometriosis. Of these, 61.7% filled an opioid prescription during the study period. More than 95% filled prescriptions for short-acting opioids (SAOs) only, 4.1% filled prescriptions for both SAOs and extended-release/long-acting opioids (LAOs), and 0.6% filled prescriptions for LAOs only. Patients who filled an opioid prescription had higher baseline comorbidities (especially gynecologic and chronic pain comorbidities) and endometriosis-related medication use compared with patients who did not fill an opioid prescription during the study period. Patients who filled both LAO and SAO prescriptions had the highest total days' supply of opioids, the proportion of days covered by prescriptions, and morphine equivalent daily dose. These patients also had the highest proportions of opioid switching and dose augmentation. Statistical trends in data were not substantially altered when analyses excluded patients with chronic pain comorbidities or surgical opioid prescriptions.
Although opioids are not a recommended treatment for endometriosis, more than half of our cohort filled an opioid prescription within 1 year after a first recorded diagnosis of endometriosis. Patients who filled an opioid prescription tended to use more endometriosis-related medications and have a higher comorbidity burden. Additional research is necessary to better understand the reasons and outcomes associated with opioid utilization in endometriosis and to determine if there is a more effective pain management treatment plan for patients taking opioids.