Antidepressant Adherence Associated With Cessation of Long-term Prescription Opioid Use

man reaching for medication in medicine cabinet
man reaching for medication in medicine cabinet
Antidepressant medication adherence is linked with cessation of opioid use.

HealthDay News — Antidepressant medication (ADM) adherence is associated with cessation of long-term prescription opioid use among patients with non-cancer pain, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Jeffrey F. Scherrer, PhD, from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and colleagues assessed whether adherence to ADM is associated with opioid cessation in 2821 non-cancer, non-HIV patients with a new depression episode after >90 days of opioid analgesic use. Patients with an ADM prescription filled from 2002 to 2012 were eligible.

The researchers found that the incidence rate of opioid cessation was significantly (P =.007) greater in patients who adhered to antidepressants vs those who did not adhere. There was a significant association between ADM adherence and opioid cessation (OR, 1.24).

“Opioid taper and cessation may be more successful when depression is treated to remission,” the authors write.

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Scherrer JF, Salas J, Sullivan MD, et al. Impact of adherence to antidepressants on long-term prescription opioid use cessation. Br J Psychiatry. 2018;212(2):103-111.