Original article|Articles in Press

Implementation of an opioid reduction toolkit in pancreatectomy patients significantly increases patient awareness of safe practice and decreases amount prescribed and consumed

Published:March 21, 2023DOI:



      Postoperative opioid abuse following surgery is a major concern. This study sought to create an opioid reduction toolkit to reduce the number of narcotics prescribed and consumed while increasing awareness of safe disposal in pancreatectomy patients.


      Prescription, consumption, and refill request data for postoperative opioids were collected from patients receiving an open pancreatectomy before and after the implementation of an opioid reduction toolkit. Outcomes included safe disposal practice awareness for unused medication.


      159 patients were included in the study: 24 in the pre-intervention and 135 in the post-intervention group. No significant demographic or clinical differences existed between groups. Median morphine milliequivalents (MMEs) prescribed were significantly reduced from 225 (225–310) to 75 (75–113) in the post-intervention group (p < 0.0001). Median MMEs consumed were significantly reduced from 109 (111–207) to 15 (0–75), p < 0.0001), as well. Refill request rates remained equivalent during the study (Pre: 17% v Post: 13%, p = 0.9) while patient awareness of safe disposal increased (Pre: 25% v Post: 62%, p < 0.0001).


      An opioid reduction toolkit significantly reduced the number of postoperative opioids prescribed and consumed after open pancreatectomy, while refill request rates remained the same and patients’ awareness of safe disposal increased.
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