According to Forbes, a new report shows that clinicians may be overprescribing opioids to older adults with COPD.

According to the paper’s results, 70% of those who were living in their own home were given a new opioid prescription between 2003 and 2012. Only 55% of those living in long-term care homes during the same time period received a prescription from their clinician for a new narcotic drug.

Study author Dr Nicholas Vorzoris, a respirologist at St Michael’s Hospital, said in an interview that his team found “remarkably high use of new opioid prescriptions” while conducting their study. He also suggested that “opioids were also frequently prescribed in ways suggestive of excessive use.”

“I am hoping that by alerting clinicians to the way opioids are prescribed to older adults with COPD, and reminding them of potential opioid side-effects that can occur in this population, they will reflect on their own prescribing practices and use more discretion when prescribing this medication class in this vulnerable population,” Vorzoris said.

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