Opioids are effective analgesics for pain relief, however, inappropriate use may cause risks. The aims of the study were to evaluate trends of opioid consumption for pain management in Taiwan and compare them among neighboring Asian countries. Opioid consumption data, including fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, codeine, and pethidine, were collected from the Controlled Drugs Management Information System of Taiwan Food and Drug Administration from 2008 to 2018. Data of different continents and neighboring Asian countries were retrieved from the WHO website. The major findings include: (1) In Taiwan, the total annual opioid consumption has gradually increased from 2008 to 2018, with fentanyl being the most frequently consumed opioid analgesic, followed by morphine. Codeine and pethidine consumption dropped significantly over the years. (2) In neighboring Asian countries, the opioid consumption in order from highest to lowest consumption were South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong (China), and China. We concluded that, from 2008 to 2018, the total opioid consumption trend for pain management in Taiwan has slowly increased, with fentanyl and morphine being the most commonly used opioids. When compared with neighboring Asian countries, level of opioid consumption in Taiwan was between Japan and Singapore. The research results may provide a reference for healthcare professionals worldwide.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.