Long-term Narcotic Use in Juvenile IBD May Be Harmful

Long-term Narcotic Use in Juvenile IBD May Be Harmful
A research team from the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina studied the effect of the chronic use of narcotics in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an inflammatory condition in the colon and small intestine. The study, supported by GlaxoSmithKline, was published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology entitled “Prevalence of Chronic Narcotic Use Among Children With Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Narcotic analgesics are prescribed to IBD patients for temporary pain relief. However, long-term narcotic use increases mortality in adult patients, and the risk of developing comorbidities such as infections, sleep and psychiatric disorders. In children, chronic treatment with narcotics may lead to gastrointestinal side effects, disease complications, and potential for dependency. This study compared the chronic use of narcotics among children with IBD with the general population and investigated factors associated with narcotic use in the pediatric IBD population. 4,344 children with IBD (63% Crohn's, 37% ulcerative colitis) were identified from a large administrative claims database of 4,911,286 children younger than 18 years with continuous health plan enrollment from 2010 through 2011. The authors found that 5.6% of pediatric IBD patients were chronic narcotic users compared with 2.3% among the general population. Anxiety and depression were associated with greater burden of narcotic use among children with IBD, even after adjusting for factors such as age, healthcare utilization, and other comorbidities. Therefore, increased awareness, screening, and treatment of these psychological symptoms may help reduce narcotic use and rel
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.