Table 2

Baseline characteristics of the patient population with chronic analgesic treatment

Starter groupContinuation group
Patients (absolute)12 48545 458120 916153 88921 79978 358204 678261 237
Change in analgesics
Age (years)
First analgesics
 Level 264.866.672.671.447.847.153.652.1
 Level 427.424.218.319.336.133.927.628.8
 Level 4/529.827.020.821.942.841.133.535.0
Last analgesics
 Level 261.963.068.467.444.544.150.148.8
 Level 427.624.618.919.936.834.528.429.6
 Level 4/531.729.824.
Concomitant medication
 Any concomitant medication78.879.077.377.789.389.688.088.4
 Migraine medication3.
 Any psychotropic medication35.136.634.835.351.653.250.251.0
 Mood stabilisers0.
 Antipsychotics total4.
 Antipsychotics 2nd generation2.
 Antipsychotics classic2.
 MAO inhibitors0.
 Other antidepressants§
 Any somatic medication72.372.671.071.483.082.981.781.9
 Cardiovascular medication30.931.430.830.935.234.934.934.9
 Other Somatic medication**65.265.564.064.376.976.775.475.6
  • Patient characteristics are presented as percentages (eg, age, gender, level of analgesic treatment, change in analgesic treatment (eg, escalation, de-escalation and neutral development of prescriptions) and concomitant medication). Absolute patient numbers are presented for the Starter and the Continuation groups of chronic analgesic treatment concerning level of urbanicity and for neighbourhood deprivation.

  • * Urbanicity = urbanisation (level 1= highest level of urbanisation; level 5= rural environment).

  • Change in pain medication from the first to the last prescription (neutral = no change in level of potency, escalation = change to a higher level of analgesic potency, de-escalation = change to a lower level of analgesic potency).

  • Concomitant drug use, observed during a period of 12 months.

  • § Other than bupropion, MAO inhibitors, SNRI, SSRI and TCA.

  • Cardiovascular medication: β-blocker, calcium antagonist, ACE inhibitor, angiotensin II inhibitor.

  • ** Gastrointestinal medication: antidiabetics, steroid antiphlogistics, respiratory medication.

  • TCA, tricyclic antidepressants; SNRI, selective noradrenaline–serotonin reuptake inhibitors; SSRI, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.