Rapid Opioid Taper May Do More Harm Than Good

By Joshua J. Fenton, Alicia L. Agnoli, et al.: For More Info, Go Here…

Study Synopsis and Perspective:

Nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, intense scrutiny of prescription practices, and lack of efficacy supporting long-term opioid therapy, physicians and healthcare organizations such as the CDC have considered or mandated opioid dose reduction for patients with chronic pain. One of the questions was how to execute this strategy for patients who have been taking and receiving benefit from long-term opioids and were using them as prescribed.

Action Points

  • Among patients using long-term opioids, many had doses reduced faster than is recommended by the CDC, potentially leading to withdrawal symptoms, according to a retrospective study.
  • Note that opioid tapers as slow as 10% per month might be better tolerated among patients taking long-term opioids, and that this process should be individualized.


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