Frank Peacock, MD: The Key to Treating Opioid-Induced Constipation in the Emergency Department

methylnaltrexone is more effective, less costly, and can even keep some patients out of the hospital after being treated for opioid-induced constipation in the emergency department.

In this interview, Frank Peacock, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, elaborated on his extensive research “Opioid-Induced Constipation: Cost Impact of Approved Medications in the Emergency Department” recently published in Advances in Therapy that provided a real-world retrospective examination.

The results indicated that patients who received prescription medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for opioid-induced constipation (OIC-Rx), like methylnaltrexone (Relistor) subcutaneous injection in the emergency department (ED) were less likely to be admitted to the hospital. And, when they were admitted, they had a shorter length of stay compared with patients whose treamtents didn't include methylnatrexone.

More than 30,000 adult patients with opioid induced constipation (OIC) were identified from a vast hospital-based encounter database (2016–2019). The resources and costs involved with treating these patients were measured and compared during the emergency department visit whether patients were hospitalized or not. The comparison also included the 30-day post-discharge period.