A new study suggests that painkillers prescribed for pets might contribute to the opioid crisis in the United States
The study led by researchers at Pennsylvania University of Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Medicine Veterinary Medicine, was released on Friday in the Jama Network Open. It "reviewed all opioid pills and patches dispensed or prescribed for dogs, cats and other small animals" at the university's veterinary school from January 2007 to December 201
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Specifically, the researchers on four opioids – tramadol, hydrocodone, codeine tablets and fentanyl patches – were prescribed mainly for dogs and cats and a small percentage for rabbits, snakes and birds.
During this time, the researchers found "the amount of these prescriptions measured in morphine multipurpose values (MME) increased by 41 percent" while the number of annual visits increased by only 13 percent.
"As we watch the opioid epidemic press, we identify other avenues of possible human consumption and abuse," Jeanmarie Perrone, the study's senior author, professor of emergency medicine and director of medical toxicology at Penn Medicine, said in a statement.
"Although the increase in prescribed veterinary podioids is well-suited to the veterinarian, it may mean an increased chance that residual pills will be misused later by household members, sold or derived or threatened with small children by accidental exposure. The results of this study suggest that that by assessing the degree of veterinary opioid prescription we can develop strategies to reduce both human and animal health risks associated with increased use, "added Perrone."
In other words, the results indicate that "large, increasing volumes of opioids Prescribed at a veterinary education hospital, stresses concerns in parallel with those relating to excessive opioid prescription in humans. "Study States.
Some states like Maine and Colorado require veterinarians to examine the owner's opioid prescription history before they can write the recipe to their pet, while 20 states" now require veterinarians to report their opioid prescription to a central database. , like doctors do, "the press release says.
" We found that the increased amount of opioids prescribed by our hospital is due not only to increased patient volume alone. It is likely that our goal of ensuring our patients is painless postoperatively, especially for those who require complex and invasive procedures, have driven our increased prescription practice during this time, "lead author Dana Clarke, an assistant professor of interventional radiology at the University. of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, said in the press release.
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Having said that, "We do not know the potential or extent of prescription diversion from animals to humans, and what influence this could have on the human opioid crisis, "at national level, Clarke noted.
In 2017, nearly 70 percent of the approximately 70,200 overdose fatalities involved an opioid according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). the number of overdose deaths involving an opioid was six times higher than in 1999.