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Back pain patients with depression often prescribed opioids

Back pain patients with depression often prescribed opioids

Health
WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 -- Patients with low back pain who are depressed are more likely to be prescribed opioids, and to be prescribed higher doses, a new study finds.Low back pain is a leading cause of disability in the United States and the most common reason for opioid prescriptions, the researchers said."There is strong evidence that depressed patients are at greater risk for misuse and overdose of opioids," said study senior author Dr. John Markman. He directs the University of Rochester Medical Center's Translational Pain Research Program, in New York.The analysis of nationwide data on nearly 5,400 people from 2004 to 2009 found that patients with back pain who screened positive for depression were more than twice as likely to be prescribed an opioid painkiller. Over a year's time,...