611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Health Tip: Recognizing a Staph InfectionIs Dairy Fat Different?CDC Recommends Catch-Up HPV Vaccination for Young AdultsHow to Relieve Dry, Irritated EyesPretomanid Approved for Treatment of Drug-Resistant TBAHA News: Tiring Easily May Warn of Future Heart TroubleAmerica's Obesity Epidemic May Mean Some Cancers Are Striking SoonerHeavy Smog as Bad as Pack-a-Day Smoking for LungsConcussed NFL Players Sidelined for Much Longer NowadaysHormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Harm the Heart: StudyObesity and 'Spare Tire' Raise Hispanics' Odds for Early DeathAHA News: Protein Made During Long Workouts May Warn of Heart ProblemsHow to Help Your Heart Weather Extreme HeatHealth Threats Don't End for Some Sepsis SurvivorsHeat Waves Brought by Climate Change Could Prove Deadly for Kidney PatientsHealth Tip: Avoiding AnemiaAre You Still Putting Off Colon Cancer Screening?Tips for Preventing DiverticulitisFDA Reports More Seizures Among VapersKids Getting Too Many Opioids After TonsillectomyCan Major Surgeries Cause a Long-Term 'Brain Drain'?How Much Coffee Is Too Much for Migraine Sufferers?Steady Stream of Lesser Head Hits in Football Can Still Damage BrainDon't Sweat It: Hyperhydrosis Can Be TreatedFast-Food Joints on Your Way to Work? Your Waistline May WidenAdults Need Vaccines, TooHealth Tip: Managing Arthritis of the Hands'Selfies' Might Someday Track Your Blood PressureIn Heat Waves, Fans May Do More Harm Than GoodSmoking Creates Long-Lasting Risk for Clogged Leg ArteriesFootball Head Trauma Linked Again to Long-Term Brain DamageDrug Approved to Treat Tenosynovial Giant Cell TumorRugby-Style Tackling Might Make Football SaferFor Kids With Asthma, Allergies, New School Year Can Bring Flare-UpsFrailty Not a Normal Part of AgingAHA News: Hurricane Checklist: Batteries, Bottled Water – And A Plan for Heart CareDangerous Sesame Allergy Affects Many AmericansScorching Pavement Sends Some to the ER With BurnsHealth Tip: Living With Hypoglycemia3-D Printers Might Someday Make Replacement HeartsCDC Renews Pledge to Fight Ebola Outbreak in AfricaAnemia Linked to Higher Odds for Dementia in SeniorsDrug Duo May Be an Advance Against a Common LeukemiaAHA News: Chemical Widely Used in Medical Plastic Alters Heart Function in Lab TestsHigh Blood Pressure Much More Deadly for the PoorHealth Tip: Understanding PrediabetesMild Head Injury Can Impair Your Sense of SmellMiddle Age Now a High-Risk Time for Bad FallsSmoking May Interfere With 'Embolization' Lung TreatmentHeartburn Drugs Might Bring Allergy Woes
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Kids Getting Too Many Opioids After Tonsillectomy

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Aug 8th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Aug. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Amid a U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse, a new study finds that even children are being prescribed powerful opioid painkillers after having their tonsils removed.

The trend is happening despite a lack of evidence that opioids (such as OxyContin) are the best option for post-op pain or complications, the researchers said.

"Our study suggests that many children receive opioid prescriptions after tonsillectomy and that the amount of opioids in these prescriptions may be excessive," said study lead author Dr. Kao-Ping Chua.

"We need to conduct research to identify interventions that safely and effectively reduce opioid exposure for these children," added Chua, who is a researcher and pediatrician at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, in Ann Arbor.

Tonsillectomy remains one of the most common surgeries for children. Currently, the American Academy of Otolaryngology recommends non-opioid painkillers -- such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen -- for tonsillectomy.

But how closely are doctors adhering to those guidelines? To find out, Chua's group tracked data on nearly 15,800 U.S. children under the age of 18. All were covered by private insurance coverage and they had undergone tonsil removal in 2016 or 2017.

The researchers found that 60% of the children received opioid painkillers, with the average prescription lasting six to 10 days.

However, "to minimize the risks of opioids to children and their families, clinicians should rely on non-opioids when possible," Chua said in a university news release. "When opioids are used, they should aim to prescribe only the amount that patients need."

He believes that it's "possible to reduce opioid exposure among children who undergo this common surgery, without increasing the risk of complications."

Chua speculated that there are several possible reasons why so many children receive opioid prescriptions despite guidelines advising against it. One factor could be the mistaken belief that opioids might provide better pain relief or reduce risk of return visits for uncontrolled pain leading to dehydration.

But that's just not borne out by the evidence. The study found that taking opioids wasn't associated with fewer return visits for pain or dehydration, but it was tied to a higher risk of constipation and at least one case of an opioid overdose.

Conversely, some surgeons believe that NSAID painkillers increase the risk of bleeding after tonsillectomy, Chua said. But, again, clinical trials have not found that to be the case.

Furthermore, the median opioid prescription for children in the study was eight days, which could represent 48 doses of opioids -- much more than what the average patient needs, Chua said.

A prior Mott study found that children who underwent tonsillectomy in 2013 were prescribed an average of 52 opioid doses but had an average of 44 leftover doses.

Over-prescribing opioids to children not only poses a risk to them, but also to family and friends who may abuse the leftover opioids, the researchers said.

The study was published Aug. 8 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on tonsillectomy.