Some hospitals are beginning to turn to alternatives to opioids for new mothers who have just had a cesarean section, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Currently, most hospitals give women who have had a C-section opioids for pain, and send them home with a prescription for more, the article notes.
Research has shown that when new mothers are given more limited choices, they often find they don’t want or need the amount of opioids that has been considered standard. Each year, doctors perform 1.2 million C-sections–about one-third of the total number of U.S. births. A study published in 2016 found about one in 300 women who take opioids for the first time after a C-section go on to use the drugs persistently. That translates into 4,000 women a year.
Another study, published in 2017, found women who had a C-section were prescribed twice the number of opioid pills that they actually took.
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.