Leftover Opioid Analgesics and Disposal Following Ambulatory Pediatric Surgeries in the Context of a Restrictive Opioid-Prescribing Policy.


Opioid analgesics are commonly prescribed for postoperative analgesia following pediatric surgery and often result in leftover opioid analgesics in the home. To reduce the volume of leftover opioids and overall community opioid burden, the State of Tennessee enacted a policy to reduce initial opioid prescribing to a 3-day supply for most acute pain incidents. We aimed to evaluate the extent of leftover opioid analgesics following pediatric ambulatory surgeries in the context of a state-mandated restrictive opioid-prescribing policy. We also aimed to evaluate opioid disposal rates, methods of disposal, and reasons for nondisposal.