Wednesday, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a set of guidelines for primary care clinicians to follow when treating adult patients for chronic pain in out-patient settings. The recommendations established by CDC aim to provide safer, more effective care for patients with chronic pain, and ultimately reduce prescription opioid use disorder and overdose.
The “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” lays out specific instructions for the prescribing process from start to finish, advising clinicians to exercise caution when prescribing opioids and primarily focus on non-opioid therapy for most types of chronic pain. However, the Guideline reviews best practices for clinicians to follow when prescribing necessary opioid therapy, including open communication with the patient about the known risks and benefits, setting realistic goals for pain and function, and prescribing the lowest effective dose.
The 2016 Guideline is complete with clinical tools, patient/partner fact sheets, graphics, and a decision-making checklist for clinicians.