Opioid prescribing trends in postpartum women: a multicenter study.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM


BACKGROUND: The postpartum period can be a particularly vulnerable time for exposure to opioid medications, and there are currently no consensus guidelines for physicians to follow regarding opioid prescribing during this period.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate inter- and intrahospital variability in opioid prescribing patterns in postpartum women and better understand the role of clinical variables in prescribing.

STUDY DESIGN: Data were extracted from electronic medical records on 4248 patients who delivered at 6 hospitals across the United States from January 2016 through March 2016. The primary outcome of the study was postpartum opioid prescription at the time of hospital discharge. Age, parity, route of delivery, and hospital were analyzed individually and with multivariate analyses to minimize confounding factors. Statistical methods included χ

RESULTS: The percentage of women prescribed postpartum opioids varied significantly by hospital, ranging from 27.6% to 70.9% (P

CONCLUSION: Postpartum opioid prescription rates vary widely among hospitals, but providers within the same hospital tend to follow similar prescribing trends. The variation in prescribing found in our study illustrates the need for clear consensus guidelines for postpartum pain management.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children


Obstetrics & Gynecology