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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Narcotic Use Among Children with IBD

Narcotic use among children is never a good thing, but unfortunately it often times cannot be avoided. A new study has found that the chronic use of narcotics is more than twice as prevalent in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (i.e. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), compared with children not living with the disease, Medical News Today reports.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a large cross-sectional study of children with IBD and children in the general population who were given multiple prescriptions over a two year period. When compared to the general population, 5.6 percent of IBD children had at least three prescriptions for a narcotic medication during a two-year period, according to the article. Only 2.3 percent of children without IBD had at least three prescriptions.

The study included a total of 21,720 children, with 4,344 IBD children (younger than 18 years old), each matched for age, sex and region with five children without IBD.

"Chronic narcotic use is common in pediatric IBD patients, particularly among those with anxiety and depression," said lead study author Jessie P. Buckley, PhD, MPH, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Describing the characteristics of children with IBD using long-term narcotics is important to define the magnitude of this problem in the pediatric population and to identify potential strategies or interventions to reduce narcotic use."

Long-term narcotic use among children is not recommended, but for those with IBD side effects can include:
  • Disease Complications
  • GI Problems
  • Potential for Dependency
Chronic use of narcotics among children with IBD was more prevalent amongst those who were/had:
  • Older in Age
  • Increased Health-Care Utilization
  • Fracture
  • Psychological Impairment
The findings were published in the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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