Beyond Pain Relief: Is Opioids Use Safe in Clostridium difficile Infection?

Hassan Al Moussawi, Mira Alsheikh, Khalil Kamar, Zeinab Awada, Jeff Hosry, Liliane Deeb


Background: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a common condition in hospitalized patients. In the USA, there has been an alarming rise in the use of opioids for analgesia during hospitalization. Due to their antiperistalsis effect, opioids can increase absorption of bacterial toxins. Our study aimed to highlight any correlation between opioids use in CDI and morbidity, mortality, and duration of hospitalization.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed, and data were collected from 321 hospitalized patients with CDI. The dosage of opioids received in the first 4 days following diagnosis was calculated. Patients were divided into two groups (control group vs. opioid group). Reassessment of severity of disease on day 4 was performed. Complications, hospital mortality, readmissions for CDI within 3 months, length of stay, and disposition at discharge were compared.

Results: The opioid arm consisted of 169 patients, and 152 patients served as controls. On day 4, the number of patients with severe disease was significantly higher in the opioid group versus controls (78 (46.1%) vs. 37 (24%), respectively, P < 0.01), and complications including ileus, high white blood cell count, and need for vasopressors were significantly higher in the opioid group (27.8% versus 16.4%, P = 0.01). Control group patients were more likely to be discharged home (47% vs. 33%, P = 0.04), while opioid group required predominantly long-term facilities care after discharge.

Conclusion: Opioid usage for analgesia in CDI increases the risk for severe disease, complications, longer hospitalization, readmission rates, hospital mortality and discharge to a long-term facility.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(5):275-280


Opioids; Clostridium difficile; Severity

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.

This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.