Leftover Opioids? Mailed Kits Double Rate of Proper Disposal


By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Could 11, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Might giving surgical procedure sufferers ready-to-use mailed disposal kits for unused opioids decrease the chance of abuse of the medication?

Sure, claims a brand new examine that discovered sufferers with unused opioid ache capsules are more likely to get rid of them correctly when given the kits.

There is a danger that leftover opioid medicines could also be misused by the individual they had been prescribed to or by others. In the event that they’re put within the trash, they could possibly be discovered by youngsters or animals, or might hurt the surroundings. Flushing them down the bathroom additionally poses environmental dangers, the researchers defined.

There are protected disposal websites, comparable to sure pharmacies, however sufferers typically do not use them as a result of they could be out of the way in which or it takes further effort.

On this examine, College of Pennsylvania researchers assessed whether or not mailed protected disposal kits may make a distinction.

The examine included 235 sufferers who had been prescribed opioid painkillers after orthopedic or urologic procedures. The same old process was adopted for about half of the sufferers, who had been texted directions to get rid of their unused capsules together with a hyperlink to places of native protected disposal websites.

The opposite sufferers acquired the identical textual content message however had been mailed disposal kits 4 to seven days after their procedures.

Leftover opioids had been disposed of properly by 60% of those that acquired the disposal equipment, in contrast with 43% of the sufferers who did not obtain the kits, the investigators discovered.

Some research present that solely about 20% to 30% of U.S. sufferers correctly get rid of unused opioid medicines, so these findings counsel that mailed disposal kits may double or triple that fee, in response to the authors of the examine revealed on-line Could 6 in JAMA Network Open.

The researchers famous that using mailed disposal kits by 125 sufferers within the examine resulted within the protected disposal of 480 unused opioid capsules.

“I used to be happy to see that such a easy, ‘snail mail’ strategy may change habits and promote self-reported disposal,” stated examine lead creator Dr. Anish Agarwal, an assistant professor of emergency drugs and chief wellness officer of the division of emergency drugs at Penn Medication.

“The opioid epidemic clearly continues to be entrance and heart for sufferers, and the issues with opioid use and misuse have gotten an actual a part of the dialog between physicians and sufferers,” Agarwal added in a college information launch. “I feel sufferers are extra conscious of the dangers and penalties of utilizing opioids and storing them of their houses.”

Extra data

For extra on the protected disposal of medicine, go to the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers.

SOURCE: College of Pennsylvania, information launch, Could 6, 2022

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