In Ontario for the period April 2015 to March 2016, almost a quarter of primary medical recipes, containing opioid drugs, exceeded the recommended dose limits imposed in 2017.
Researchers claim that at this time in Ontario, 23.9% of the first medical prescriptions, including opioids, recommended daily dose was more than 50 mg of morphine equivalent.
This is more than the threshold set last year for the North American doctors treating chronic non-cancer pain opioids like oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyle patches.
According to the recommendations of last year, the daily intake of opioids should be limited to a dose less than 90 mg of morphine equivalent, ideally less than 50 mg. These guidelines replaced the ones that were released in 2010, which stated that under medical supervision can be used a daily dose equivalent to 200 mg of morphine.
Researchers from the Institute of clinical assessment and hospital St. Michael’s Hospital analyzed prescriptions for opioid drugs over 650,000 Ontarians. The results of their work was published on Wednesday, may 16, in the journal Pain.
The study’s lead author Tara Gomes said that the findings emphasize the need to find for some patients alternative options to cope with the pain, such as physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.