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Journal Article


Takasusuki T, Hayashi S, Koretaka Y, Yamaguchi S. Pain Ther. 2022; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2022, Adis)






INTRODUCTION: Opioid use disorder is a global problem. Although opioid analgesics are prescribed less frequently in Japan than in many other countries, the rate of aberrant prescription opioid-taking behaviors in Japan is unknown.

METHODS: An internet survey was conducted to estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for prescription opioid misuse, abuse, diversion and doctor shopping in Japanese subjects with chronic pain who had been prescribed opioid analgesics.

RESULTS: The proportion of respondents (n = 387) who reported opioid misuse was 45.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 40.4-50.6); rates were: 24.6% (95% CI: 20.3-29.2) for abuse; 15.0% (95% CI: 11.6-19.0) for diversion; and 10.6% (95% CI: 7.7-14.1) for doctor shopping. Aberrant prescription opioid-taking behaviors were higher in participants with chronic post-cancer treatment pain (misuse, 64.2%; abuse, 52.2%) or chronic cancer pain (misuse, 57.4%; abuse, 26.2%) than in those with chronic noncancer pain (misuse, 37.8%; abuse, 17.0%). Younger age, male sex, smoking, habitual drinking, diagnosis of psychiatric disease, use of opioids other than tramadol, and use of opioids for chronic post-cancer treatment pain and chronic cancer pain were identified as risk factors for aberrant prescription opioid-taking behaviors.

CONCLUSION: Even in Japan, which has not experienced the surge in opioid consumption documented in other countries, aberrant prescription opioid-taking behaviors were observed. When prescribing opioid analgesics, universal precautions should always be taken for both cancer and non-cancer patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN000041788.

Language: en


Diversion; Abuse; Cancer pain; Chronic pain; Doctor shopping; Misuse; Prescription opioids


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