3 years ago

Opioids and Other Central Nervous System–Active Polypharmacy in Older Adults in the United States

Helen C. Kales, Lauren B. Gerlach, Donovan T. Maust, Mark Olfson
Objectives To determine patterns of and trends in contributions to central nervous system (CNS) polypharmacy, defined by the Beers Criteria as three or more CNS-active medications of each medication class, of adults aged 65 and older seen in U.S. outpatient medical practices. Design National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2004–2013). Setting U.S. outpatient medical care. Participants Visits by older adults to outpatient physicians (N = 97,910). Measurements Visits including three or more CNS medications including antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics (NBRAs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and opioids. The proportion of CNS polypharmacy that each medication class contributed during 2011 to 2013 was determined, and then logistic regression was used to determine trends from 2004 to 2013 in the contribution of individual medication classes to such polypharmacy. Results Of recent CNS polypharmacy visits, 76.2% included an opioid, and 61.8% included a benzodiazepine; 66.0% of the polypharmacy visits with benzodiazepines included opioids, and 53.3% of the polypharmacy visits with opioids included benzodiazepines. Between 2011 and 2013, opioid and benzodiazepine co-prescribing occurred at approximately 1.50 million visits (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.23–1.78 million) annually. From 2004 (reference) to 2013, the proportion of polypharmacy visits with opioids rose from 69.6% to 76.2% (adjusted odds ratio = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.19–3.91, P = .01), and the corresponding proportion that included benzodiazepines fell. Of the polypharmacy visits, the odds of SSRI, NBRA, and antipsychotic use were unchanged, and that of TCAs decreased. Conclusion In older adults, opioid use appears to be largely driving the recent national increase in CNS polypharmacy. Although concomitant use of opioids and benzodiazepines is associated with greater mortality, they are the most common contributors to CNS polypharmacy in older adults.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14930

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.