Among Ontario nursing home residents, concomitant use of benzodiazepines (BZDs) or gabapentinoids with opioids continues, but different patterns of co-use are appearing, a study shows. The authors write: “Our study showed that while opioid-benzodiazepine combinations are declining in nursing homes, there has been an increase in opioid-gabapentinoid use. Caution in co-prescribing these agents is recommended coupled with a call for additional outcomes research on the relative risks and benefits of combining opioids with either benzodiazepines or gabapentinoids.”
The population-based, repeated cross-sectional study of Ontario nursing home residents (>65 years) assessed the dispensing of opioids between Apr. 2009 and Feb. 2020. The annual proportions of residents dispensed an opioid concurrently with a BZD or gabapentinoid were plotted with percent change derived from log-binomial regression models.
The results showed the following: “Over the study period, among residents dispensed an opioid there was a 53.2% relative decrease (30.7% to 14.4%) in concurrent BZD and a 505.4% relative increase (4.4% to 26.6%) in concurrent gabapentinoid use. In adjusted models, increasing age and worsening cognition were inversely associated with the concurrent use of both classes, but most other significantly related covariates were unique to each drug class (e.g., sex and anxiety disorders for BZD, pain severity and presence of pain-related conditions for gabapentinoids).”