Review of Deaths Related to Analgesic- and Cough Suppressant-opioids; England and Wales 1996-2002

F. Schifano, G. Zamparutti, F. Zambello, A. Oyefeso, P. Deluca, M. Balestrieri, D. Little, A. Ghodse
2006 Pharmacopsychiatry  
time frame were analyzed. Methods: All cases in which at least one analgesic-and cough suppressant-opioid other than heroin/morphine, methadone or buprenorphine was identified were extracted from the database. We hypothesized that: a) populations of addicts and non-addicts presented differences in patterns of drugs involved; and b) within the population of addicts and non-addicts, intentional and non-intentional deaths presented different patterns of substance consumption. Results: A total of
more » ... 24 deaths related to selected opioids, either alone or in combination, were included in the analysis. Typically, non-addicts were older than 45 and died as a result of intentional poisoning whilst majority of addicts were young, males and victims of accidental deaths. In about 93 % of cases the selected opioids were reported in combination with another substance. Most frequently identified narcotics were propoxyphene, codeine and dihydrocodeine. Coproxamol, Co-codamol and Co-dydramol were typically prescribed for non-addicts, whilst dihydrocodeine was mostly given to addicts. In non-addicts, alcohol was mostly represented in accidental deaths and antidepressants were typically represented in intentional deaths. Conversely, illicit drugs and hypnotics/sedatives were typically reported in addicts' accidental deaths. Conclusions: The present report constitutes the largest available collection of analgesic-and cough suppressant-opioid mortality data in the UK. Users should be educated about risks associated with polydrug misuse. Affiliation
doi:10.1055/s-2006-949149 pmid:16944410 fatcat:yamaslp2gjgpjllhh3xma443am