NSAID “allergy” labeling is associated with increased postpartum opioid utilization

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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2023 Nov 29:S0091-6749(23)01516-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2023.11.025. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend a stepwise approach to postpartum pain management, beginning with acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and with opioids added only if needed. Report of a prior NSAID-induced adverse drug reaction (ADR) may preclude use of first-line analgesics, despite evidence that many patients with this allergy label may safely tolerate NSAIDs.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between reported NSAID ADRs and postpartum opioid utilization.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of birthing people who delivered within an integrated health system (1/1/2017-12/31/2020). Study outcomes were postpartum inpatient opioid administrations and opioid prescriptions at discharge. Statistical analysis was performed on a propensity score-matched sample, which was generated with the goal of matching to the covariate distributions from individuals with NSAID ADRs.

RESULTS: Of 38,927 eligible participants, there were 883 (2.3%) with an NSAID ADR. Among individuals with reported NSAID ADRs, 49.5% received inpatient opioids in the postpartum period, compared with 34.5% of those with no NSAID ADRs (difference=15.0%, 95% CI [11.4-18.6%]). For patients who received postpartum inpatient opioids, those with NSAID ADRs received a higher total cumulative dose between delivery and hospital discharge (median 30.0 vs 22.5 morphine milligram equivalents [MME] for vaginal deliveries; median 104.4 vs 75.0 MME for cesarean deliveries). The overall proportion of patients receiving an opioid prescription at the time of hospital discharge was higher for patients with NSAID ADRs compared to patients with no NSAID ADRs (39.3% vs 27.2%, difference=12.1%, 95% CI [8.6-15.6%]).

CONCLUSION: Patients with reported NSAID ADRs had higher postpartum inpatient opioid utilization and more frequently received opioid prescriptions at hospital discharge compared to those without NSAID ADRs, regardless of mode of delivery.

PMID:38040042 | DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2023.11.025