Background Polymyalgia rheumatic (PMR) is a systemic rheumatic inflammatory disease characterized primarily by musculoskeletal pain and stiffness. Glucocorticoid treatment is the current standard of care however the need for additional pain management, in particular the need for opioid therapy, has not been studied.
Objectives To examine the trends of chronic opioid use in patients with PMR over an 11 year period in Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA and compare this to subjects without the disease.
Methods Retrospective data on opioid prescriptions were collected from 2005 to 2015 in a population-based incidence cohort of patients meeting the 2012 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for PMR alongside comparison subjects. Poisson regression methods were used to compare opioid use between these groups.
Results 244 patients with PMR and 211 non-PMR comparator subjects were included in the study. Rates of chronic opioid use were not significantly different between the two groups. 7.5% of patients with PMR were identified as chronic users by the end of the study period compared with 5.2% of non-PMR subjects. Any opioid use was also not significantly higher in PMR, with relative risk of 1.10 (95% CI 0.97, 1.26, p=0.14). There were higher rates of chronic use among patients over 80 years in both groups.
Conclusions PMR does not appear to be associated with increased rates of opioid use when compared with the general population.
Acknowledgements This study was made possible by the Rochester Epidemiology Project, which receives support from the National institute on Aging of the NIH.
Disclosure of Interest None declared