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New Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Released


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for opioid prescribing that offers recommendations on when and how to issue opioid scripts for patients age 18 and older. This is an update of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016, and includes suggestions for managing acute (duration < 1 month), subacute (duration of one to three months), and chronic (duration > 3 months) pain. The new guidelines will help clinicians decide whether to initiate opioids for pain, and also determine the best drug and dosage. In addition, the CDC provides recommendations for risk assessment, follow up, and the duration of the initial prescription.

Based on systematic reviews of the scientific evidence, the guidelines were developed with input from the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the public, and peer reviewers. Noting the recommendations should not be applied as inflexible standards of care across patient populations, CDC officials say the new clinical guidance is intended to improve communication between providers and patients, and increase efficacy and safety in pain management. Published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the updated recommendations are available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/rr/rr7103a1.htm?s_cid=rr7103a1_w.

From Decisions in Dentistry. January 2023;9(1)9.

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