People who go to the emergency room for dental problems are often prescribed opioids and antibiotics, HealthDay reports. The findings show the need to combat overuse of opioids and antibiotics, the researchers said.
More than 50% of patients who visited the emergency room for a dental-related condition filled a prescription for antibiotics, and about 40% filled a prescription for an opioid, the researchers report in the Journal of the American Dental Association. More than 30% fill prescriptions for both.
A 2018 policy statement by the American Dental Association says that in general, a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be just as effective as any opioid-containing medications and that dentists should consider non-opioids for acute pain management.
“Given previous findings that dental-related diagnoses are a common and potentially avoidable reason for [emergency department] visits, the prescribing of antibiotics and opioids for these conditions becomes even more concerning,” the study authors wrote.
Search & Rescue: Tools & Resources for Prescribers to Help Navigate the Opioid Crisis
Search and Rescue is a prescriber education campaign providing healthcare professionals with the tools and resources they need to help patients with prescription drug misuse, abuse, and addiction.