The Mayo Clinic says that only one in three of its surgical patients used opioids prescribed after discharge.
Results from the patient survey also found that 28 percent of respondents said they were prescribed too many opioids, while 8 percent said they were prescribed too few.
Only 8 percent of the patients disposed of their remaining opioids.
Researchers surveyed about 1,900 patients who underwent 25 common surgeries at three academic medical centers.
Mayo researchers said the findings will help develop better prescribing guidelines for doctors.
The research was presented this month at the American Surgical Association meeting and is expected to be published in the Annals of Surgery.
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