It included more than 16,500 U.S. adults who had heart devices implanted between 2010 and 2018.
Nearly 40% received more than 200 oral morphine equivalents on prescription, according to the researchers.
The study was published Oct. 21 in the journal HeartRhythm.
“The explanation for this high number of opioid prescriptions could be due to various reasons including provider factors, patient factors, and social norms,” said first author and cardiologist Dr. Justin Lee, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Specific factors include a doctor‘s pain management training and prior experiences; patients’ expectations of pain control and other health issues; as well their individual sensitivity to pain, the researchers found.
“There is a clear need for more studies and awareness of perioperative pain management after device procedures to reduce postoperative pain and postoperative opioid prescriptions,” said co-author Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, another Mayo Clinic cardiologist.
“This ranges from various intraprocedural techniques to reduce postoperative pain to considerations of using a combination of scheduled non-opioid medications for a better non-opioid pain control strategy,” he added.
— Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: HeartRhythm, news release, Oct. 21, 2019