Narcotic Use clinical trials at UC Health
1 research study open to eligible people
open to eligible people ages 18 years and up
pills go unused, generating waste and leaving an opportunity for misuse and abuse. In a recent study, researchers let patients choose what medications to go home with after surgery. After their thyroid or parathyroid surgery, 96% of patients declined narcotic pain medication. They preferred to manage their pain with acetaminophen instead. Giving patients counseling and empowering them to choose significantly reduces the amount of opioids prescribed and wasted. The aim of our study is to compare a similar "opt-in" protocol for narcotics to usual care (where patients are routinely discharged with opioids). We would elaborate upon the aforementioned study by studying patient pain scores on a more granular level once they return home. Our study will be designed as a randomized, controlled trial. When adult patients consent for a thyroid or parathyroid surgery, they will be asked to participate in the study. Patients who are currently using narcotics would be excluded. We would then randomize participants to the "opt-in" protocol versus being provided with a standard opioid prescription after surgery. Patients in the opt-in protocol will be recommended a pain treatment regimen with over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These patients will be reassured that if their pain is uncontrolled after discharge, a narcotic prescription will be called in to their pharmacy if requested. We will assess patient pain scores and medication use in the recovery area using the electronic medical record. We will collect data on patient pain scores and medication use after discharge on a daily basis via phone call or electronically transmitted survey. We will also evaluate patients at the time of their follow-up visits. Any patient phone calls will be routed to study personnel who will fill narcotic prescription requests if requested. Finally, among patients who do receive an opioid prescription, we will track their opioid consumption.