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Study: Opioid-related overdose and chronic use following an initial prescription of hydrocodone versus oxycodone

opioid pain medication

Published: April 5, 2022

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0266561

This study aims to discover which opioid pain relieving medication has a higher rate of overdose and persisting use.

The study concluded that :

Among previously opioid-naïve patients, the risk of developing chronic use was slightly higher with hydrocodone, whereas the risk of overdose was higher after oxycodone, in combination with acetaminophen or monotherapy. With a goal of reducing overdose-related deaths, hydrocodone may be the favorable agent.

However, I find this conclusion extremely deceptive and illustrates how researchers can push their agenda by only reporting the parts of the study that suits them and forwards their narrative.

This study had a very large sample size of 14, 458 participants, and found that the rate of addiction (persistent use a year later) for both oxycodone and hydrocodone was a mere 2.8%. And the rate of overdose was even smaller, a vanishingly small 0.3% experienced an overdose.

I would expect that the results would have featured in the conclusion, but no. They decided to merely report that hydrocodone may be the more favourable agent in regards to overdose.

Given that most people quickly perusing the study will only read the conclusion, this is highly deceptive and in my opinion unethical.

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