Current use of prescription opioids is associated with increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), suggests an Annals of Internal Medicine study.
Researchers studied Tennessee patients who’d filled an opioid prescription between 1995 and 2014. Of these, they compared 1200 patients with an IPD diagnosis with 24,000 controls without IPD.
After multivariable adjustment, current opioid use was associated with significantly increased risk for IPD relative to no opioid use in the prior 6 months (adjusted odds ratio, 1.62). Risks were higher with opioids that were long-acting (aOR 1.87), high-potency (aOR, 1.72), or at doses of at least 90 morphine milligram equivalents per day (aOR, 1.75).
Dr. Carlos del Rio of NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseasescommented: “The finding that opioid use — in particular, long-acting, high-potency, and high-dose opioids — was associated with invasive pneumococcal diseases independent of known risk factors suggests that opioids may be immunosuppressive. Clinicians should consider opioid use disorder in a patient with invasive pneumococcal disease.”