Hospitalizations for Poisoning From Prescription Drugs Rise

From 1999 to 2006, hospitalizations involving opioids, sedatives, tranquilizers rose 65 percent
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalizations for poisoning from prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers increased by 65 percent from 1999 to 2006, according to research published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jeffrey H. Coben, M.D., of the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, and colleagues analyzed 1999 to 2006 data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, focusing on poisonings from drugs, medicines, and biological substances using ICD-9-CM standard diagnosis codes.

The researchers found that, during this period, there was a 65 percent rise in hospitalizations for poisonings from prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers, which was double the increase in hospitalizations related to poisonings by other drugs and substances. The greatest increase in number of cases involved poisoning by benzodiazepines (10,379 more in 2006 than 1999); the largest percentage increase was for methadone (400 percent). Compared to other substances, people hospitalized for prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers were more likely to be women, over the age of 34, and presenting to an urban or rural non-teaching hospital.

"This increase mirrors the trend observed in mortality from prescription drug overdose during this time period, and may point to an opportunity to intervene to prevent subsequent mortality. Although the majority of these hospitalized poisonings are classified as unintentional, substantial increases were also demonstrated for intentional overdoses associated with these drugs, likely reflecting their widespread availability in community settings," the authors conclude.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events