Gout patients often go home from ED with opioids

A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that it’s common for patients with gout to be discharged from the emergency department (ED) with a prescription for opioids.

Researchers analyzed records of 456 adults with a diagnosis of gout who were discharged from an ED or hospital in Rhode Island from March 2015 to September 2017.

They found that nearly one in four patients, or about 28% of the study participants, went home with an opioid prescription. 

Researchers noted that patients with polyarticular gout attack or diabetes and those using opioids prior to admission had higher odds of receiving opioids.

The authors concluded that despite the availability of effective treatments for gout, such as corticosteroids and colchicine, opioids are commonly used to manage acute gout. “The study highlights an opportunity to curb the opioid epidemic among gout patients,” they wrote.