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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Prescription opioid analgesics commonly unused after surgery: a systematic review.

Bicket MC, Long JJ, Pronovost PJ, et al. JAMA Surgery. 2017;152.

A large number of deaths in the United States have been caused by opioid misuse. Diversion of unused prescription opioids is a growing patient safety concern. This systematic review found that opioids prescribed for postoperative pain management often go unused, are not stored in a locked location, and are rarely disposed of in compliance with Food and Drug Administration recommendations. The authors conclude that unused prescription opioids may contribute to an increase in misuse and adverse drug events.