Comparison of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and the risk index for overdose or serious opioid-induced respiratory depression (RIOSORD) tool for guiding naloxone coprescribing
Keywords:RIOSORD, opioid overdose, risk mitigation, naloxone, opioid
Purpose: Patients treated with ongoing opioid therapy may be at an increased risk of respiratory depression or death, which may be mitigated through prompt administration of naloxone. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for prescribing opioids in primary care settings recommend patients treated with ongoing opioid analgesic therapy be offered a coprescription of naloxone based on total oral morphine milligram equivalents per day or concurrent benzodiazepine therapy. Opioid overdose risk is dose-dependent, yet other patient-specific factors contribute to this risk. The risk index for overdose or serious opioid-induced respiratory depression (RIOSORD) incorporates additional risk factors to assess the risk of overdose or clinically relevant respiratory depression.
Objectives: This study compared the frequency of meeting CDC, Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) RIOSORD, or civilian RIOSORD criteria for naloxone coprescribing.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of 42 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Illinois was conducted for all CII-CIV opioid analgesic prescriptions. Ongoing opioid therapy was defined as patients who received seven or more CII-CIV opioid analgesic prescriptions during the 1-year study period. Patients aged 18-89, receiving opioids for nonmalignant pain, and meeting the criteria of ongoing opioid therapy were included in the analysis.
Results: A total of 41,777 controlled substance analgesic prescriptions were prescribed during the study period. Data from 651 individual patient charts were evaluated. Of those, 606 patients met inclusion criteria. From these data, 57.9 percent of patients (N = 351) met civilian RIOSORD criteria, 36.5 percent (N = 221) met VA RIOSORD criteria, and 22.8 percent (N = 138) met CDC guideline recommendations for naloxone coprescribing. The percentage of patients who met RIOSORD criteria compared to CDC criteria was significantly higher (p < 0.001). Of all patients meeting ongoing opioid therapy criteria, only seven had been coprescribed naloxone.
Conclusion: Coprescribing of naloxone is significantly underutilized in patients treated with opioid therapy for nonmalignant chronic pain and should not solely be based on total oral morphine milligram equivalents per day or concurrent benzodiazepine therapy. As risk assessment improves, consideration of other risk-conferring variables, such as gabapentinoids, skeletal muscle relaxants, and sleep hypnotics, should be considered.
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