I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 24

Children (Basel)



Demographics, Diagnoses, Drugs, and Adjuvants in Patients on Chronic Opioid Therapy vs. Intermittent Use in a Tertiary Pediatric Chronic Pain Clinic.


Anywhere from 11.6% to 20% of pediatric and adolescent patients treated for chronic pain are prescribed opioids, but little is known about these patients. The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of patients on chronic opioid therapy (COT) and what therapies had been utilized prior to or in conjunction with COT. The study was a retrospective chart review of all chronic pain patients seen during 2020 with those patients on COT separated for analysis. A total of 346 unique patients were seen of which 257 were female (74.3%). The average age was 15.5 years. A total of 48 patients (13.9%) were identified as being on COT with an average age of 18.1 years. Of these, 23 (47.9%) were male which was significantly more than expected. The most common reason for patients to be receiving COT was palliative (13/48), and the second most common was sickle cell anemia (10/48). Patients on COT were significantly more likely to be male, be older, and to be concurrently prescribed benzodiazepines. Concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine therapy is a risk factor for respiratory depression and overdose. Further investigation into the increased proportion of males and benzodiazepine usage in patients on COT is warranted.