Indexed on: 25 Aug '20Published on: 16 Aug '19Published in: Annals of surgery
MINI: Use of sedative-hypnotics before surgery is common, but its effect on postoperative outcomes is unknown. Particularly when used in combination with opioids, preoperative use of sedative-hypnotics increases the risk of adverse outcomes after common surgical procedures. To determine the association between preoperative benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine receptor agonist ("Z-drugs") use and adverse outcomes after surgery. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines and Z-drugs have increased over the past decade. Despite this, the association of preoperative benzodiazepines and Z-drug receipt with adverse outcomes after surgery is unknown. Using the Optum Clinformatics Datamart, we performed a retrospective cohort study of adults 18 years or older who underwent any of 10 common surgical procedures between 2010 and 2015. The principal exposure was one or more filled prescriptions for a benzodiazepine or Z-drug in the 90 days before surgery. The primary outcome was any emergency department visit or hospital admission for either (1) a drug related adverse medical event or overdose or (2) a traumatic injury in the 30 days after surgery. Of 785,346 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 94,887 (12.1%) filled a preoperative prescription for a benzodiazepine or Z-drug. From multivariable logistic regression, benzodiazepine or Z-drug use was associated with an increased odds of an adverse postoperative event [odds ratio 1.13; 95% confidence interval: 1.08-1.18). In a separate regression, coprescription of benzodiazepines or Z-drugs with opioids was associated with a 1.45 odds of an adverse postoperative event (95% confidence interval: 1.37-1.53). Preoperative benzodiazepines and Z-drug use is common and associated with increased odds of adverse outcomes after surgery, particularly when coprescribed with opioids. Counseling on appropriate benzodiazepine and Z-drug use in advance of elective surgery may potentially increase the safety of surgical care.