Opioid analgesics are often prescribed following rhinology surgery. This study aimed to evaluate whether the quantity of opioid analgesics prescribed is justified.
Patients were asked about their pain management post-operatively. Parameters recorded included: current pain (using a 10-point Likert scale); type of operation; the opioid analgesics prescribed; and the quantity of opioid tablets taken and other methods of pain relief used.
Thirty-five patients were successfully contacted. The median pain score at one week post-operation was 1 (interquartile range, 0–3). Of these 35 patients, 16 were prescribed opioids, whilst 19 were not. Patients prescribed opioids took a median of 8 tablets (interquartile range, 0.8–10.5) out of the 28 tablets prescribed.
The study shows that the quantity of post-operative opioid analgesics prescribed does not compare with the amount consumed by patients to relieve pain, resulting in a surplus of opioid medication which has the potential to be abused.
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