Chronic narcotic use in inflammatory bowel disease patients: Prevalence and clinical characteristics

Edwards, J. T., Radford-Smith, G. L. and Florin, T. H. J. (2001) Chronic narcotic use in inflammatory bowel disease patients: Prevalence and clinical characteristics. Journal of Gastroenterology And Hepatology, 16 11: 1235-1238. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1746.2001.02468.x

Author Edwards, J. T.
Radford-Smith, G. L.
Florin, T. H. J.
Title Chronic narcotic use in inflammatory bowel disease patients: Prevalence and clinical characteristics
Journal name Journal of Gastroenterology And Hepatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0815-9319
Publication date 2001-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1046/j.1440-1746.2001.02468.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 16
Issue 11
Start page 1235
End page 1238
Total pages 4
Place of publication Carlton South, Vic
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject C1
321006 Gastroenterology and Hepatology
730113 Digestive system and disorders
730205 Substance abuse
Formatted abstract
Background: Narcotic addiction can be a significant problem in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, there are few published reports about this problem.

Methods: All patients prescribed narcotics chronically in the absence of demonstrable organic pathology were identified on the computerized Brisbane IBD Research Group database (n = 332 patients with informative data as of 1 January 1999). Individual case records were reviewed with regard to clinical, psychiatric and social characteristics of these patients, and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders were compared with a control group of IBD patients.

Results: Eleven patients were identified. Nine had complete datasets, eight with Crohn's disease (CD), of which six had previous stricturing ileal disease, and one patient had ulcerative colitis, making a prevalence of 2.7% of IBD patients and 5.1% of CD patients. A 67% prevalence of a psychiatric disorder in narcotic users was significantly greater than the 8% prevalence in the control group of IBD patients (odds ratio 22, 95% CI 3.24-177).

Conclusions: A significant proportion of IBD patients without demonstrable organic pathology were chronic narcotic users. Psychiatric disorders are common in this subgroup, as with chronic functional abdominal pain syndromes. It is suggested that inappropriate narcotic use in IBD patients can be reduced by appreciating that narcotics are a temporary therapy only for IBD patients, and awareness of pre-existing social and psychiatric disorders, which not only impact on clinical presentation of pain, but also help define the subgroup of patients who are at risk of narcotic misuse. (C) 2001 Blackwell Science Asia Pty.
Keyword Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Crohn's Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 39 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 02:51:31 EST