Narcotic use and pain control after cesarean section

April 5, 2022 Gynecology & Neonatology No Comments

Opioid use and dependence have markedly increased in recent years which has led to an
opioid epidemic. Various factors that have contributed to this crisis, one being the over
prescription of opioid medication to post-surgery patients. In the United States cesarean
section deliveries accounted for 31.8% of all births in 2020. Therefore, it is necessary to
evaluate pain control and narcotic use in the postpartum period. Most studies on postpartum
pain control focus primarily on the immediate inpatient postoperative period. This study
investigates pain control and Percocet use in the 3-day post-discharge period of women
who underwent Cesarean delivery at The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) from January
to June 2021. This study evaluated 100 women; the data shows that patients took on average
4 out of 36 Percocet pills; only 11% of the total prescribed dose. Additional factors were
taken into consideration including pain scale up to 3 days post-discharge, pain management
alternatives, home childcare, family size, and prior opioid use. This study concludes that
post cesarean delivery patients were overprescribed narcotics upon discharge from the
hospital. Considerations should be made for smaller doses, spaced-out hourly doses, and
shorter interval of days. Patients should be advised that if additional pain medication is
required to contact their provider and be educated on the importance of properly disposing
unused opioid medications.

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