10. tbl. 107. árg. 2021

Changes in prescriptions on opioids in primary health care during the years 2008-2017

Þróun lyfjaávísana á ópíóíðalyf í heilsugæslu á árabilinu 2008 til 2017

Sigríður Óladóttir1

Jón Steinar Jónsson1,2,3

Margrét Ólafía Tómasdóttir1,2,3

Hannes Hrafnkelsson1,2

Emil Lárus Sigurðsson1,2,3

1Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland School of Health Sciences, Reykjavik, Iceland, 2The primary health care of the capital area, 3Development Centre for Primary Healthcare in Iceland, Primary Health Care of the Capital Area, Reykjavik, Iceland

Correspondence: Emil Lárus Sigurðsson, emilsig@hi.is

Key words: Primary care. Prescription. Opioid drug. Qualative control.

INTRODUCTION: In recent decades there has been a notable increase in the prescription of opioids in western countries. With this rise in use of opioids the risk of side effects, opioid abuse and deaths linked to opioids have become more apparent. The increase in opioid prescription may partly stem from a change in attitude in relation to pain management. Research has shown that pain is among the most common reasons people seek medical care and chronic pain is prevalent. Iceland is leading the Nordic countries in opioid prescriptions.

OBJECTIVE: To examine prescriptions of opioids in primary car in Iceland for all age group from 2008 to 2017.

METHODS: The research included all opioid prescription in every health clinic in the capital area in Iceland the between 2008 and 2017. Population in the capital area in this time period was between 201 and 222 thousand people. Data was collected from medical records database of the primary health care and approximatley 68.000 individuals had received a prescription for opioids during the research period.

RESULTS: During the research period there was a 17,2% (p<0,01) increase in DDD/1000 inhabitants/day (Defined daily dose) for opioids. About a third of those who got the prescription were men and that ratio did not change during the period. proportionately, the biggest change in DDD/1000 inhabitants/day was in the age group made of people 90 years old and older, about 40,5% (p<0,01). The biggest increase in number of people getting a prescription for opioids was in the age group 30-39, about 25,5% (p<0,01). Number of prescriptions increased in every category of opioids, measured in DDD/1000 inhabitants/day,15,3% (p<0,01) in parkódin, 20,7% (p<0,01) in parkódín forte, 4,7% (p<0,01) in tramadol and 85,6% (p<0,01) in the strongest opioids.

DISCUSSION: the evolution of prescriptions for every type of opioid to the clients of the health clinics in the capital area that occured in the years from 2008 to 2017, proportionately highest for the strongest opioids, should encourage a review of pain treatment within the health clinics and development within that field.

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