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1.
JAMA ; 327(9): 846-855, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750254

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, modified guidance for opioid agonist therapy (OAT) allowed prescribers to increase the number of take-home doses to promote treatment retention. Whether this was associated with an increased risk of overdose is unclear. Objective: To evaluate whether increased take-home doses of OAT early in the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with treatment retention and opioid-related harm. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective propensity-weighted cohort study of 21 297 people actively receiving OAT on March 21, 2020, in Ontario, Canada. Changes in OAT take-home dose frequency were assessed between March 22, 2020, and April 21, 2020, and individuals were observed for up to 180 days to assess outcomes (last date of follow-up, October 18, 2020). Exposures: Exposure was defined as extended take-home doses in the first month of the pandemic within each of 4 cohorts based on OAT type and baseline take-home dose frequency (daily dispensed methadone, 5-6 take-home doses of methadone, daily dispensed buprenorphine/naloxone, and 5-6 take-home doses of buprenorphine/naloxone). Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were opioid overdose, interruption in OAT, and OAT discontinuation. Results: Among 16 862 methadone and 4435 buprenorphine/naloxone recipients, the median age ranged between 38 and 42 years, and 29.1% to 38.2% were women. Among individuals receiving daily dispensed methadone (n = 5852), initiation of take-home doses was significantly associated with lower risks of opioid overdose (6.9% vs 9.5%/person-year; weighted hazard ratio [HR], 0.73 [95% CI, 0.56-0.96]), treatment discontinuation (51.0% vs 63.6%/person-year; weighted HR, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.72-0.90]), and treatment interruption (19.0% vs 23.9%/person-year; weighted HR, 0.80 [95% CI, 0.67-0.95]) compared with no change in take-home doses. Among individuals receiving daily dispensed buprenorphine/naloxone (n = 662), there was no significant difference in any outcomes between exposure groups. Among individuals receiving weekly dispensed OAT (n = 11 010 for methadone; n = 3773 for buprenorphine/naloxone), extended take-home methadone doses were significantly associated with lower risks of OAT discontinuation (14.1% vs 19.6%/person-year; weighted HR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.62-0.84]) and interruption in therapy (5.1% vs 7.4%/person-year; weighted HR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.53-0.90]), and extended take-home doses of buprenorphine/naloxone were significantly associated with lower risk of interruption in therapy (9.5% vs 12.9%/person-year; weighted HR, 0.74 [95% CI, 0.56-0.99]) compared with no change in take-home doses. Other primary outcomes were not significantly different between groups. Conclusions and Relevance: In Ontario, Canada, during the COVID-19 pandemic, dispensing of increased take-home doses of opioid agonist therapy was significantly associated with lower rates of treatment interruption and discontinuation among some subsets of patients receiving opioid agonist therapy, and there were no statistically significant increases in opioid-related overdoses over 6 months of follow-up. These findings may be susceptible to residual confounding and should be interpreted cautiously.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Narcotic Antagonists/administration & dosage , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Buprenorphine/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Medication Adherence , Methadone/administration & dosage , Naloxone/administration & dosage , Ontario/epidemiology , Opiate Substitution Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Propensity Score , Retrospective Studies
2.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 34(4): 357-362, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636164

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Opioid use is prevalent in the United Kingdom and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic it had been recognized that the safety of opioids was an important issue to be monitored by the UK medicines regulatory agency. With the emergence of COVID-19, this requirement has been even greater. This review was undertaken to determine the impact of the pandemic on safety and surveillance of opioids in the United Kingdom. RECENT FINDINGS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the surveillance of opioids in the United Kingdom continued, although primary research was often conducted with data prior to the pandemic. Of those studies that were conducted while the pandemic was ongoing, access to opioids (or opioid substitution therapy) and the subsequent effect on patient safety was the main theme. SUMMARY: In the United Kingdom, changes in accessibility to the healthcare system and how healthcare providers operated during the COVID-19 pandemic may have had unintended consequences on use and safety of opioids, due to the shift in focus to preventing COVID-19 from overwhelming the healthcare system. The findings from this review support the need to continue surveillance in the United Kingdom, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid utilization and safety.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Misuse/prevention & control , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Palliative Care/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care/methods , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(12): e2138453, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565152

ABSTRACT

Importance: During the pandemic, access to medical care unrelated to COVID-19 was limited because of concerns about viral spread and corresponding policies. It is critical to assess how these conditions affected modes of pain treatment, given the addiction risks of prescription opioids. Objective: To assess the trends in opioid prescription and nonpharmacologic therapy (ie, physical therapy and complementary medicine) for pain management during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 compared with the patterns in 2019. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, cross-sectional study used weekly claims data from 24 million US patients in a nationwide commercial insurance database (Optum's deidentified Clinformatics Data Mart Database) from January 1, 2019, to September 31, 2020. Among patients with diagnoses of limb, extremity, or joint pain, back pain, and neck pain for each week, patterns of treatment use were identified and evaluated. Data analysis was performed from April 1, 2021, to September 31, 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcomes of interest were weekly rates of opioid prescriptions, the strength and duration of related opioid prescriptions, and the use of nonpharmacologic therapy. Transition rates between different treatment options before the outbreak and during the early months of the pandemic were also assessed. Results: A total of 21 430 339 patients (mean [SD] age, 48.6 [24.0] years; 10 960 507 [51.1%] female; 909 061 [4.2%] Asian, 1 688 690 [7.9%] Black, 2 276 075 [10.6%] Hispanic, 11 192 789 [52.2%] White, and 5 363 724 [25.0%] unknown) were enrolled during the first 3 quarters in 2019 and 20 759 788 (mean [SD] age, 47.0 [23.8] years; 10 695 690 [51.5%] female; 798 037 [3.8%] Asian; 1 508 023 [7.3%] Black, 1 976 248 [9.5%] Hispanic, 10 059 597 [48.5%] White, and 6 417 883 [30.9%] unknown) in the first 3 quarters of 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of patients receiving a pain diagnosis was smaller than that for the same period in 2019 (mean difference, -15.9%; 95% CI, -16.1% to -15.8%). Patients with pain were more likely to receive opioids (mean difference, 3.5%; 95% CI, 3.3%-3.7%) and less likely to receive nonpharmacologic therapy (mean difference, -6.0%; 95% CI, -6.3% to -5.8%), and opioid prescriptions were longer and more potent during the early pandemic in 2020 relative to 2019 (mean difference, 1.07 days; 95% CI, 1.02-1.17 days; mean difference, 0.96 morphine milligram equivalents; 95% CI, 0.76-1.20). Analysis of individuals' transitions between treatment options for pain found that patients were more likely to transition out of nonpharmacologic therapy, replacing it with opioid prescriptions for pain management during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the year before. Conclusions and Relevance: Nonpharmacologic therapy is a benign treatment for pain often recommended instead of opioid therapy. The decrease in nonpharmacologic therapy and increase in opioid prescription during the COVID-19 pandemic found in this cross-sectional study, especially given longer days of prescription and more potent doses, may exacerbate the US opioid epidemic. These findings suggest that it is imperative to investigate the implications of limited medical access on treatment substitution, which may increase patient risk, and implement policies and guidelines to prevent those substitutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Musculoskeletal Pain/drug therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , SARS-CoV-2 , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Insurance Claim Review , Male , Physical Therapy Modalities/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
4.
Pan Afr Med J ; 38: 74, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547719

ABSTRACT

Boerhaave's syndrome is an uncommon syndrome characterized by spontaneous rupture of the oesophagus with a high mortality rate. While excessive alcohol intake and binge-eating are the classic precipitants of this syndrome, medication-induced vomiting causing Booerhave's is quite uncommon. Traditionally managed operatively, conservative management is being increasingly reported in selected cases. We report the case of 21-year-old male with who developed sudden onset chest pain and dyspnoea after pentazocine induced vomiting. He was referred after lack of response to initial treatment for acute severe asthma. A chest CT scan showed pneumomediastinum, subcutaneous emphysema and oesophageal tear. He was managed conservatively with oxygen therapy, nil per mouth and antibiotics with improvement of symptoms and discharge after 8 days.


Subject(s)
Esophageal Perforation/diagnostic imaging , Mediastinal Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Pentazocine/adverse effects , Vomiting/complications , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Asthma/physiopathology , Asthma/therapy , Chest Pain/etiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Esophageal Perforation/etiology , Esophageal Perforation/therapy , Humans , Male , Mediastinal Diseases/etiology , Mediastinal Diseases/therapy , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Pentazocine/administration & dosage , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Vomiting/chemically induced , Young Adult
5.
Public Health Rep ; 136(1_suppl): 72S-79S, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495836

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Traditional public health surveillance of nonfatal opioid overdose relies on emergency department (ED) billing data, which can be delayed substantially. We compared the timeliness of 2 new data sources for rapid drug overdose surveillance-emergency medical services (EMS) and syndromic surveillance-with ED billing data. METHODS: We used data on nonfatal opioid overdoses in Kentucky captured in EMS, syndromic surveillance, and ED billing systems during 2018-2019. We evaluated the time-series relationships between EMS and ED billing data and syndromic surveillance and ED billing data by calculating cross-correlation functions, controlling for influences of autocorrelations. A case example demonstrates the usefulness of EMS and syndromic surveillance data to monitor rapid changes in opioid overdose encounters in Kentucky during the COVID-19 epidemic. RESULTS: EMS and syndromic surveillance data showed moderate-to-strong correlation with ED billing data on a lag of 0 (r = 0.694; 95% CI, 0.579-0.782; t = 9.73; df = 101; P < .001; and r = 0.656; 95% CI, 0.530-0.754; t = 8.73; df = 101; P < .001; respectively) at the week-aggregated level. After the COVID-19 emergency declaration, EMS and syndromic surveillance time series had steep increases in April and May 2020, followed by declines from June through September 2020. The ED billing data were available for analysis 3 months after the end of a calendar quarter but closely followed the trends identified by the EMS and syndromic surveillance data. CONCLUSION: Data from EMS and syndromic surveillance systems can be reliably used to monitor nonfatal opioid overdose trends in Kentucky in near-real time to inform timely public health response.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/poisoning , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Sentinel Surveillance , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Overdose/prevention & control , Emergencies/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/trends , Humans , Kentucky/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Harm Reduct J ; 18(1): 89, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435253

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent data suggest a disproportionate impact of opioid overdoses on Black Americans. The study aims to describe emergency department (ED) visits at a Southern, urban ED pertaining to opioid overdose and associated health disparities. METHODS: Patients presenting to the ED at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital with opioid overdoses from January 1 to October 31, 2019, and from January 1 to October 31, 2020, were identified from electronic medical records. RESULTS: The total number of opioid overdose visits increased 9.7% (556 to 611) between January and October 2020 compared with 2019. Among patients who presented with opioid overdose, the mean ages were 50.3 years and 48.3 years, in 2019 and 2020, respectively. In both 2019 and 2020, more Blacks than whites were treated for opioid overdose in the ED (284 vs. 258 in 2019, and 306 vs. 271 in 2020) although 28 patients did not record their race in 2020. Consistently, more overdose deaths were observed in Blacks than in whites in 2020. More individuals seeking opioid overdose treatment were single in both years. CONCLUSIONS: The study reported a greater number of visits for opioid overdoses from January to October of 2020 in an ED of a southeastern region, as well as higher overdose deaths in Blacks. Our findings highlight the importance of substance use treatment, harm reduction, and overdose prevention efforts that should be immediately present to reduce opioid overdose, especially for vulnerable populations in the South, i.e., Black community, and individuals experiencing singlehood.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
7.
J Addict Med ; 15(2): 93-95, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284900

ABSTRACT

Methadone regulations have changed minimally since 1974, despite advances in the understanding of the nature of opioid use disorder (OUD) and the role of medications in its treatment. At that time, most patients with OUD were considered to have anti-social personality disorders and the regulations aimed to exert maximal control over medication access. Six- or seven-day clinic attendance is required for months, regardless of distance, or childcare and other social responsibilities. Take home medications are not allowed unless rigid and formulaic conditions are met. Although addiction medicine has rejected the "criminal" paradigm in favor of OUD as a treatable medical disorder, methadone regulations have not kept pace with the science. Pregnancy is characterized by an ultra-rapid metabolic state, but regulations prevent the use of daily divided doses of methadone to maintain stability. This results in repeated episodes of maternal/fetal opioid withdrawal, as well as other fetal physiologic abnormalities. Interference with dose regimen adjustments prevents optimal outcomes. Further, methadone clinics are mostly urban, leaving patients in rural areas without access. This led to excessive morbidity and mortality when the opioid crisis hit. The response of merely expanding capacity in overcrowded urban clinics created a contagion menace when Covid-19 arrived. Pregnant women (and parents with children) were forced to negotiate dosing in dangerous conditions. A revised methadone system must provide treatment that is local, flexible, and limited in size to manage viral contagion risks. This regulatory change can most easily be started by changing regulations that adversely affect pregnant women.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Health Policy , Methadone/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Pregnancy Complications/drug therapy , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Humans , Methadone/administration & dosage , Methadone/adverse effects , Pregnancy , United States
8.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 22, 2021 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119431

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In North America the opioid poisoning crisis currently faces the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, further straining people and communities already facing structural and individual vulnerabilities. People with opioid use disorder (OUD) are facing unique challenges in response to COVID-19, such as not being able to adopt best practices (e.g., physical distancing) if they're financially insecure or living in shelters (or homeless). They also have other medical conditions that make them more likely to be immunocompromised and at risk of developing COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, national and provincial regulatory bodies introduced guidance and exemptions to mitigate the spread of the virus. Among them, clinical guidance for prescribers were issued to allow take home opioid medications for opioid agonist treatment (OAT). Take Home for injectable opioid agonist treatment (iOAT) is only considered within a restrictive regulatory structure, specific to the pandemic. Nevertheless, this risk mitigation guidance allowed carries, mostly daily dispensed, to a population that would not have access to it prior to the pandemic. In this case it is presented and discussed that if a carry was possible during the pandemic, then the carry could continue post COVID-19 to address a gap in our approach to individualize care for people with OUD receiving iOAT. CASE PRESENTATION: Here we present the first case of a patient in Canada with long-term OUD that received take home injectable diacetylmorphine to self-isolate in an approved site after being diagnosed with COVID-19 during a visit to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with cellulitis and admitted to receive antibiotics. CONCLUSION: In the present case we demonstrated that it is feasible to provide iOAT outside the community clinic with no apparent negative consequences. Improving upon and making permanent these recently introduced risk mitigating guidance during COVID-19, have the potential not just to protect during the pandemic, but also to address long-overdue barriers to access evidence-based care in addiction treatment.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heroin/therapeutic use , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Administration, Intravenous , Administration, Oral , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Heroin/administration & dosage , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Cell Mol Med ; 25(1): 591-595, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-934013

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 can present with a variety of clinical features, ranging from asymptomatic or mild respiratory symptoms to fulminant acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) depending on the host's immune responses and the extent of the associated pathologies. This implies that several measures need to be taken to limit severely impairing symptoms caused by viral-induced pathology in vital organs. Opioids are most exploited for their analgesic effects but their usage in the palliation of dyspnoea, immunomodulation and lysosomotropism may represent potential usages of opioids in COVID-19. Here, we describe the mechanisms involved in each of these potential usages, highlighting the benefits of using opioids in the treatment of ARDS from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Dyspnea/drug therapy , Dyspnea/etiology , Humans , Immunomodulation/drug effects , Immunomodulation/physiology , Lysosomes/drug effects , Receptors, Opioid/immunology
12.
J Subst Abuse Treat ; 119: 108139, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808920

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led government regulators to relax prescribing rules for buprenorphine and methadone, the agonist medications that effectively treat opioid use disorder, allowing for take home supplies of up to 28 days. These changes prioritized the availability of these medications over concerns about their misuse and diversion, and they provided a means for overdose prophylaxis during the highly uncertain conditions of the pandemic. In considering how to capitalize on this shift, research should determine the extent to which increased diversion has occurred as a result, and what the consequences may have been. The shifts also set the stage to consider if methadone can be safely prescribed in primary care settings, and if the monthly injectable formulation of buprenorphine is a suitable alternative to increased supplies of sublingual strips if concerns about diversion persist. The disruptions of the pandemic have caused a surge in overdose deaths, so carefully considering the prophylactic potential of agonist medications, in addition to their role as a treatment, may help us address this mortality crisis.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Coronavirus Infections , Opioid-Related Disorders/rehabilitation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Prescription Drug Diversion/statistics & numerical data , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Buprenorphine/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Methadone/administration & dosage , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods
13.
J Opioid Manag ; 16(4): 237-238, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745232

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 ARDS appears to have worse outcomes than ARDS from other causes. It is a predictable serious complication and the key strategy is to maintain oxygenation. Adopting the prone position for conscious COVID-19 patients requiring basic respiratory support, is shown to benefit patients in terms of improving oxygenation, reducing the need for invasive ventilation and potentially even reducing mortality. Cough and myalgia are the common and most distressing symptoms seen in conscious COVID-19 patients which can impair tolerance to awake proning. Modified awake proning with application of transdermal fentanyl patch (TFP) can improve the compliance to conscious proning in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Consciousness , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Fentanyl/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Prone Position , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Transdermal Patch
14.
J Intensive Care Med ; 36(2): 157-174, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-737558

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a global pandemic. The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) presents with a spectrum of symptoms ranging from mild to critical illness requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a major complication in patients with severe COVID-19 disease. Currently, there are no recognized pharmacological therapies for COVID-19. However, a large number of COVID-19 patients require respiratory support, with a high percentage requiring invasive ventilation. The rapid spread of the infection has led to a surge in the rate of hospitalizations and ICU admissions, which created a challenge to public health, research, and medical communities. The high demand for several therapies, including sedatives, analgesics, and paralytics, that are often utilized in the care of COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation, has created pressure on the supply chain resulting in shortages in these critical medications. This has led clinicians to develop conservation strategies and explore alternative therapies for sedation, analgesia, and paralysis in COVID-19 patients. Several of these alternative approaches have demonstrated acceptable levels of sedation, analgesia, and paralysis in different settings but they are not commonly used in the ICU. Additionally, they have unique pharmaceutical properties, limitations, and adverse effects. This narrative review summarizes the literature on alternative drug therapies for the management of sedation, analgesia, and paralysis in COVID-19 patients. Also, this document serves as a resource for clinicians in current and future respiratory illness pandemics in the setting of drug shortages.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/complications , Hypnotics and Sedatives/administration & dosage , Neuromuscular Blocking Agents/administration & dosage , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Critical Illness , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BMJ Support Palliat Care ; 10(3): 343-349, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-602096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Anticipatory prescribing (AP) of injectable medications in advance of clinical need is established practice in community end-of-life care. Changes to prescribing guidelines and practice have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To investigate UK and Ireland clinicians' experiences concerning changes in AP during the COVID-19 pandemic and their recommendations for change. METHODS: Online survey of participants at previous AP national workshops, members of the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland and other professional organisations, with snowball sampling. RESULTS: Two hundred and sixty-one replies were received between 9 and 19 April 2020 from clinicians in community, hospice and hospital settings across all areas of the UK and Ireland. Changes to AP local guidance and practice were reported: route of administration (47%), drugs prescribed (38%), total quantities prescribed (35%), doses and ranges (29%). Concerns over shortages of nurses and doctors to administer subcutaneous injections led 37% to consider drug administration by family or social caregivers, often by buccal, sublingual and transdermal routes. Clinical contact and patient assessment were more often remote via telephone or video (63%). Recommendations for regulatory changes to permit drug repurposing and easier community access were made. CONCLUSIONS: The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for UK community palliative care has stimulated rapid innovation in AP. The extent to which these are implemented and their clinical efficacy need further examination.


Subject(s)
Caregivers , Drug Administration Routes , Palliative Care/methods , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Terminal Care/methods , Administration, Buccal , Administration, Sublingual , Analgesics, Non-Narcotic/administration & dosage , Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Fentanyl/administration & dosage , General Practitioners , Hospice Care/methods , Hospices , Humans , Hypnotics and Sedatives/administration & dosage , Ireland/epidemiology , Lorazepam/administration & dosage , Methotrimeprazine/administration & dosage , Muscarinic Antagonists/administration & dosage , Nurse Specialists , Palliative Medicine , Pandemics , Physicians , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , Transdermal Patch , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Res Social Adm Pharm ; 17(1): 2005-2008, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505793

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare access has changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Elective medical procedures, including routine office visits, were restricted raising concerns regarding opioid and benzodiazepine provider and prescription availability. OBJECTIVE: To examine how the cancelation of elective medical procedures due to COVID-19 impacted the dispensing of opioid and benzodiazepine prescriptions in Texas. METHODS: Interrupted time series analyses were preformed to examine changes in prescription trends for opioids and benzodiazepines before and after the restriction on elective medical procedures. Samples of patients who filled an opioid or benzodiazepine prescription from January 5, 2020 to May 12, 2020 were identified from the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program. Elective medical procedures were restricted starting March 23, 2020 indicating the beginning of the intervention period. RESULTS: Restricting elective procedures was associated with a significant decrease in the number of patients (ß = -6029, 95%CI = -8810.40, -3246.72) and prescribers (ß = -2784, 95%CI = -3671.09, -1896.19) filling and writing opioid prescriptions, respectively. Also, the number of patients filling benzodiazepine prescriptions decreased significantly (ß = -1982, 95%CI = -3712.43, -252.14) as did the number of prescribers (ß = -708.62, 95%CI = -1190.54, -226.71). CONCLUSION: Restricting elective procedures resulted in a large care gap for patients taking opioid or benzodiazepine prescriptions.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid/administration & dosage , Benzodiazepines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Drug Prescriptions , Health Policy , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs , Texas
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