DETROIT (WWJ) – Seems obvious but one way to battle the opioid epidemic is to prescribe less of the pain medication to patients.

A new study finds it can be done while still keeping patients pain-free says WWJ health reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

There are no national guidelines on how much opiod pain medicine is needed after surgery. Researchers at the University of Michigan wanted to find out.
So they spoke to about two hundred patients two weeks after having gall bladder surgery to find out about their pain management.

Most of the patients say they were prescribed about 50 opioid pain pills after surgery.

How many did they actually use?

Researcher Dr. Jay Lee says, “Most patients only need 5-10 tablets for this kind of procedure, and we’re giving much more than that.”

He says after learning of these findings the surgeons reduced the number of opioid pain pills prescribed to patients. That, in turn, means fewer pills left in medicine cabinets that could be misused.

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