Chronic Opioid Use Is Associated With Early Biologic Discontinuation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Christian Rhudy; Courtney L. Perry; Michael Singleton; Jeffery Talbert; Terrence A. Barrett


Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2021;53(6):704-711. 

In This Article


We found that chronic opioid use is independently associated with a shorter period of persistence to biologic therapy. The number of biologic therapeutic options for IBD remains relatively limited, and recognition of this phenomenon is of paramount importance for preserving therapeutic options for IBD patients. Prior to abandoning a biologic therapy, we implore clinicians to remain hypervigilant for withdrawal symptoms, and ensure that patients with chronic opioid use demonstrate definitive biomarkers of ongoing disease activity such as elevated faecal calprotectin and/or endoscopic appearance. Furthermore, we suggest that clinicians involved in the care of IBD patients remain vigilant in identifying patients at risk for chronic opioid use and work with patients to find alternative methods for symptom and pain control. Future study investigating the benefit of partnerships with addiction medicine to improve outcomes in IBD is merited.