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Narcotic use and pain control after cesarean section

Obstetrics & Gynecology International Journal
Neil Patel, Owen Cole, Alexandra Hamilton, Dmitry Youshko


Opioid use and dependence have markedly increased in recent years which has led to an opioid epidemic. Various factors that have contributed to this crisis, one being the over prescription of opioid medication to post-surgery patients. In the United States cesarean section deliveries accounted for 31.8% of all births in 2020. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate pain control and narcotic use in the postpartum period. Most studies on postpartum pain control focus primarily on the immediate inpatient postoperative period. This study investigates pain control and Percocet use in the 3-day post-discharge period of women who underwent Cesarean delivery at The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) from January to June 2021. This study evaluated 100 women; the data shows that patients took on average 4 out of 36 Percocet pills; only 11% of the total prescribed dose. Additional factors were taken into consideration including pain scale up to 3 days post-discharge, pain management alternatives, home childcare, family size, and prior opioid use. This study concludes that post cesarean delivery patients were overprescribed narcotics upon discharge from the hospital. Considerations should be made for smaller doses, spaced-out hourly doses, and shorter interval of days. Patients should be advised that if additional pain medication is required to contact their provider and be educated on the importance of properly disposing unused opioid medications.


cesarean section, Percocet, cesarean delivery pain management, percocet narcotic, narcotic use, enhanced recovery after surgery