Combined Use of Opioids and Antidepressants in the Treatment of Pain: A Review of Veterans Health Administration Data for Patients with Pain Both With and Without Co-morbid Depression

Combined Use of Opioids and Antidepressants in the Treatment of Pain: A Review of Veterans Health... Musculoskeletal pain is prevalent among Veterans treated within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Depression is highly co-prevalent, and antidepressants are increasingly being used for psychiatric and analgesic benefit. The current study examined prescribing patterns of antidepressants and opioids in the context of musculoskeletal pain using a national VHA database. All Veterans diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain who attended at least one appointment through the VHA during Fiscal Year 2012 were dichotomized based on the presence or absence of a depression diagnosis. We compared the proportion in each group that were prescribed antidepressants to the entire sample and repeated this comparison along a continuum of the number of annual opioid prescriptions received (ranging in five categories from no opioids up to >20 scripts). Of the 5.1 million Veterans seen, 19.1 % were diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain, of whom, 27.2 % were diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Antidepressants were prescribed to 78.41 % of patients with musculoskeletal pain and depression, compared to 20.23 % of those without depression. For both groups, antidepressant use increased linearly as annual opioid fills increased. Across the categories of opioid use, patients with depression showed a 13.98 % increase in antidepressant use, compared to a 33.97 % increase in the non-depressed group. Results suggest that antidepressants are frequently prescribed to patients with musculoskeletal pain who are using opioids, consistent with multi-modal pharmacotherapy. Increasing use of antidepressants in conjunction with escalating opioid prescribing, particularly in the absence of diagnosed depression, suggests that antidepressants are being used in both groups to complement opioid therapy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychiatric Quarterly Springer Journals

Combined Use of Opioids and Antidepressants in the Treatment of Pain: A Review of Veterans Health Administration Data for Patients with Pain Both With and Without Co-morbid Depression

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/combined-use-of-opioids-and-antidepressants-in-the-treatment-of-pain-a-Iqrm7Jo3FE
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA)
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Psychiatry; Public Health; Sociology, general
ISSN
0033-2720
eISSN
1573-6709
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11126-015-9411-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Musculoskeletal pain is prevalent among Veterans treated within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Depression is highly co-prevalent, and antidepressants are increasingly being used for psychiatric and analgesic benefit. The current study examined prescribing patterns of antidepressants and opioids in the context of musculoskeletal pain using a national VHA database. All Veterans diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain who attended at least one appointment through the VHA during Fiscal Year 2012 were dichotomized based on the presence or absence of a depression diagnosis. We compared the proportion in each group that were prescribed antidepressants to the entire sample and repeated this comparison along a continuum of the number of annual opioid prescriptions received (ranging in five categories from no opioids up to >20 scripts). Of the 5.1 million Veterans seen, 19.1 % were diagnosed with musculoskeletal pain, of whom, 27.2 % were diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Antidepressants were prescribed to 78.41 % of patients with musculoskeletal pain and depression, compared to 20.23 % of those without depression. For both groups, antidepressant use increased linearly as annual opioid fills increased. Across the categories of opioid use, patients with depression showed a 13.98 % increase in antidepressant use, compared to a 33.97 % increase in the non-depressed group. Results suggest that antidepressants are frequently prescribed to patients with musculoskeletal pain who are using opioids, consistent with multi-modal pharmacotherapy. Increasing use of antidepressants in conjunction with escalating opioid prescribing, particularly in the absence of diagnosed depression, suggests that antidepressants are being used in both groups to complement opioid therapy.

Journal

Psychiatric QuarterlySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 8, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off