Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

How New Guidelines Can Positively Affect Your Practice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new guidelines for primary care physicians on appropriate opiate management. These guidelines suggest that once the prescription of opioids hits 50 milligrams a day of morphine-equivalents—when incidents of death and other significant morbidity increases—the primary care doctor should get a consultation from a pain physician or discontinue the opiates.1

Dr. Peter Staats, an interventional pain management physician, views the new CDC guidelines as a positive. For doctors, they are an attempt to get back to the basics. Once a diagnosis is made, interventional therapies and treatment strategies are both considered, as opposed to just interventional strategies, with the goal of limiting the number of opioids or stopping them completely. In Dr. Staats’s article, New Opioid Guidelines: A Back to Basics Approach, he discusses:

  • Nuances of the opioid guidelines
  • The influence of patients’ pain scores
  • The prescription trend over time

1 Centers For Disease Control And Pre. Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. 2016Jun2;30(2).

Peter S. Staats, MD, MBA

Dr. Staats is a board-certified physician specializing in pain medicine. He has been named one of America's Top Doctors by U.S. News and World Report for the last decade. He is the author of over 200 articles, abstracts and chapters regarding pain management, and has written several books on the science of pain medicine.

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