Prescription opioid dispensing in Australian children and adolescents: a national population-based study

The Lancet

8 October 2019 - There are few population-based studies of paediatric opioid use. 

The investigators aimed to investigate the prevalence of opioid dispensing in Australian children and adolescents using data from a random sample of 15% of the children and adolescents who had received any medicines between 1 February 2013 and 31 December 2017, through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

During the study period, 78 320 opioid prescriptions were dispensed to 50 730 Australian children, aged 0–17 years, in our sample. In 2017, 135·4 children per 10 000 were dispensed opioids, representing a slight decrease equal to a change of −2·2% (95% CI −3·5 to −0·8) per annum since 2013.

Read The Lancet article

Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder