Effect of FDA investigation on opioid prescribing to children after tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy

Study findings indicate that fewer children have been prescribed codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy due to a 2012 FDA probe into the drug's safety and efficacy in this setting.

Study findings indicate that fewer children have been prescribed codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy due to a 2012 FDA probe into the drug's safety and efficacy in this setting. Indeed, researchers calculated a 13.3% level change in the share of pediatric patients who filled one or more prescription for the opioid within 7 days of having either—or both—of the procedures. Even so, as of December 2015, more than 5% of children undergoing these surgeries still had at least one codeine prescription filled. Furthermore, FDA's regulatory intervention—which resulted in a 2013 black box warning—did not have a major effect on prescribing levels for alternative opioids, including hydrocodone. The findings were determined using a commercial claims database to identify nearly 363,000 patients who had tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy from 2010–15 and an interrupted time series design to estimate level and slope changes in prescription fills.