A recent study suggests that analgesics prescribed to pets could potentially contribute to the opioid crisis in the US.
The study was led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Veterinary Medicine, was released on Friday in Jama Network Open. From January 2007 to December 201
In particular, the researchers studied four opioids – tramadol, hydrocodone, codeine tablets and fentanyl patches – which were mainly prescribed to dogs and cats and a small percentage of rabbits and snakes and birds.
During this time, the researchers found that the amount of these prescriptions, measured in morphine milligram equivalents (MME), increased by 41 percent, while the number of annual visits increased by only 13 percent.
"As we advance the opioid epidemic, we recognize other routes of potential human consumption and abuse," said Jeanmarie Perrone, lead author of the study, professor of emergency medicine and director of toxicology medicine at Penn Medicine, he said a statement.
"Even if the vet's intended increase in prescribed veterinary opioids is well-intentioned, this may increase the likelihood that remaining pills will later be misused, sold or diverted by household members or endanger infants by unintentional exposure. The results of this study suggest that by assessing the rate of veterinary opioid prescriptions, we can develop strategies to reduce the risks to human and animal health associated with increased use, "added Perrone.
Mit in other words, the findings suggest that "the increasing amount of opioids prescribed at a veterinary teaching hospital points to concerns associated with those of the excessive opioid prescription in humans," the study said.
Before If they can write the prescription for their pet, 20 states "require vets to report their opioid prescriptions in a centralized database, just as doctors do," the press release said.
"We've found that Increases in volume The opioids prescribed by our hospital were not just due to the increased patient volume It is likely that our goal of ensuring the postoperative pain relief of our patients, especially for those requiring complex and invasive procedures, has fueled our increased prescribing practice during this time, "lead author Dana Clarke, assistant professor of interventional radiology at the Veterinary Medical Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania said in the press release.
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That is, "We do not know the potential or extent of animal prescribing to humans, and what impact this could have on the human opioid crisis," clarified nationally.
In 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 70 percent of the approximately 70,200 overdose deaths were from opioids (CDC). In the same year, the number of deaths from overdose in which an opioid occurred was six times higher than in 1999.