Opioids and Children| Volume 23, ISSUE 2, P416-424, March 2023

Association Between Initial Opioid Prescription Duration and 30-Day Risk of Receiving Repeat Opioid Among Children



      Our study evaluated the association between initial opioid prescription duration and receipt of a repeat opioid prescription in children.


      Eligible individuals were children between 1 and 17 years of age who enrolled in a Medicaid Managed Care plan and filled an incident opioid prescription during 2013 to 2018. An incident prescription was defined as receipt of an opioid analgesic without a prior use for 12 months. A repeat opioid prescription was defined as receipt of a subsequent opioid prescription within 30 days since the end of incident opioid prescription. A hierarchical multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to test the association between incident opioid prescription duration and the likelihood of receiving a repeat prescription.


      The cohort consisted of 17,086 children receiving an incident opioid prescription in which 6272 (36.7%) received 1 to 3 days’ supply, 8442 (49.4%) received 4 to 7 days’ supply, 1434 (8.4%) received 8 to 10 days’ supply, and 938 (5.5%) received >10 days’ supply. Of these incident opioid recipients, 1780 (10.4%) filled a repeat opioid prescription. The multilevel model results indicated that, children receiving 4 to 7 days’ supply (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.98 {0.9–1.1}), 8 to 10 days’ supply (aOR: 1.03 [0.8–1.3]), and >10 days’ supply (aOR: 0.85 [0.7–1.1]) had comparable likelihoods of receiving a repeat prescription as those receiving 1 to 3 days’ supply.


      Nearly 10% of children who filled an opioid prescription for acute pain received a repeat prescription. Initial prescription duration was not associated with the risk of receiving a repeat prescription.


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