Screening To Identify Signals Of Opioid Drug Interactions Leading To Unintentional Traumatic Injury

Abstract [from journal]

Background: Efforts to minimize harms from opioid drug interactions may be hampered by limited evidence on which drugs, when taken concomitantly with opioids, result in adverse clinical outcomes.

Objective: To identify signals of opioid drug interactions by identifying concomitant medications (precipitant drugs) taken with individual opioids (object drugs) that are associated with unintentional traumatic injury DESIGN: We conducted pharmacoepidemiologic screening of Optum Clinformatics Data Mart, identifying drug interaction signals by performing confounder-adjusted self-controlled case series studies for opioid + precipitant pairs and injury.

Setting: Beneficiaries of a major United States-based commercial health insurer during 2000-2015 PATIENTS: Persons aged 16-90 years co-dispensed an opioid and ≥1 precipitant drug(s), with an unintentional traumatic injury event during opioid therapy, as dictated by the case-only design EXPOSURE: Precipitant-exposed (vs. precipitant-unexposed) person-days during opioid therapy.

Outcome: Emergency department or inpatient International Classification of Diseases discharge diagnosis for unintentional traumatic injury. We used conditional Poisson regression to generate confounder adjusted rate ratios. We accounted for multiple estimation via semi-Bayes shrinkage.

Results: We identified 25,019, 12,650, and 10,826 new users of hydrocodone, tramadol, and oxycodone who experienced an unintentional traumatic injury. Among 464, 376, and 389 hydrocodone-, tramadol-, and oxycodone-precipitant pairs examined, 20, 17, and 16 (i.e., 53 pairs, 34 unique precipitants) were positively associated with unintentional traumatic injury and deemed potential drug interaction signals. Adjusted rate ratios ranged from 1.23 (95 % confidence interval: 1.05-1.44) for hydrocodone + amoxicillin-clavulanate to 4.21 (1.88-9.42) for oxycodone + telmisartan. Twenty (37.7 %) of 53 signals are currently reported in a major drug interaction knowledgebase.

Limitations: Potential for reverse causation, confounding by indication, and chance CONCLUSIONS: We identified previously undescribed and/or unappreciated signals of opioid drug interactions associated with unintentional traumatic injury. Subsequent etiologic studies should confirm (or refute) and elucidate these potential drug interactions.