Conference Coverage

Cross-sectional study finds chronic skin conditions have highest opioid prescribing rates



Consider nonopioid postoperative pain management options

In an interview, Sailesh Konda, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology and director of Mohs surgery and surgical dermatology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, who was not involved with the research, noted the finding in the study that vitiligo, hemangioma, pemphigus, AD, and psoriasis were diagnoses with the highest rates of opioid prescription was surprising. “In general, these are conditions that are not routinely managed with opioids,” he said.

NAMCS contains a primary diagnosis field and space for four additional diagnoses such as chronic conditions, as well as thirty fields for medications. “If an opioid was prescribed at a visit, it could have been prescribed for any of the diagnoses related to the visit,” Dr. Konda said. “Additionally, for those opioid prescriptions associated with dermatologic procedures, it would have been helpful to have a breakdown of the specific procedures.”

Dr. Konda compared these results to a recent study of opioid prescribing patterns in the dermatology Medicare population, which found that 93.9% of the top 1% of opioid prescribers were dermatologists working in a surgical practice.

He said that recommendations for opioid prescribing should be developed for general dermatology as they have been for Mohs surgery and dermatologic surgery. For dermatologists currently prescribing opioids, he recommended monitoring prescribing patterns and to “consider nonopioid interventions, such as acetaminophen plus ibuprofen, which has been found to effectively control postoperative pain with fewer complications.”

Ms. Pourali reports no relevant financial disclosures. Her coauthors included the principal investigator, April Armstrong, MD, MPH, professor of dermatology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Dr. Konda reports no relevant financial disclosures.


Next Article: