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Guidance covers acute, subacute, and chronic pain and replaces 2016 guidelines.
Hard thresholds for pain medication doses and duration are no longer promoted through the CDC’s new Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain.
The new guidance — which covers acute, subacute, and chronic pain for primary care and other clinicians — updates and replaces the controversial 2016 CDC opioid guideline for chronic pain. The 2016 guideline was interpreted as imposing strict opioid dose and duration limits and was misapplied by some organizations, leading the guideline authors to clarify their recommendations in 2019.
The 2022 recommendations are voluntary and give clinicians and patients flexibility to support individual care, said Christopher Jones, PharmD, DrPH, MPH, acting director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in a CDC press briefing. They should not be used as an inflexible, one-size-fits-all policy or law, or applied as a rigid standard of care, or replace clinical judgement about personalized treatment, he emphasized.
“Patients with pain should receive compassionate, safe, and effective pain care,” Jones stated. “We want clinicians and patients to have the information they need to weigh the benefits of different approaches to pain care, with the goal of helping people reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.”