Table 2.

Factors contributing to adverse events due to opioids: N = 268.*

Patient took more than prescribed88
Prescribed dose was too high48
Patient took alcohol or sedating drugs along with opioids39
Patients did not contact the physician or pharmacist about symptoms32
Patient or caregiver misunderstanding about dosing24
Patient injected, crushed, or snorted the tablet12
Loss of tolerance following a period of noncompliance9
Physician, pharmacist, or nurse did not take into account that the patient was at high risk of overdose (eg, elderly)8
Lack of communication between physician and pharmacist or nurse6
Physician, pharmacist, or nurse involved did not recognize seriousness of symptoms5
Patient refused to go to the emergency department1
Dispensing error1
  • * Some physicians indicated more than 1 factor.