An extended-release opioid analgesic (OxyContin, OC) was reformulated with abuse-deterrent properties to deter abuse. This report examines changes in abuse through oral and nonoral routes, doctor-shopping, and fatalities in 10 studies 3.5 years after reformulation. Changes in OC abuse from 1 year before to 3 years after OC reformulation were calculated, adjusted for prescription changes. Abuse of OC decreased 48% in national poison center surveillance systems, decreased 32% in a national drug treatment system, and decreased 27% among individuals prescribed OC in claims databases. Doctor-shopping for OC decreased 50%. Overdose fatalities reported to the manufacturer decreased 65%. Abuse of other opioids without abuse-deterrent properties decreased 2 years later than OC and with less magnitude, suggesting OC decreases were not due to broader opioid interventions. Consistent with the formulation, decreases were larger for nonoral than oral abuse. Abuse-deterrent opioids may mitigate abuse and overdose risks among chronic pain patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)