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October 17, 2019

HHS Announces Guide for Appropriate Tapering and Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Use

Type: News Tags: HHS, Opioid Use Disorder, Treatment Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently published a new Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics . Individual patients, as well as the health of the public, benefit when opioids are prescribed only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks.  But once a patient is on opioids for a prolonged duration, any abrupt change in the patient’s regimen may put the patient at risk of harm and should include a thorough, deliberative case review and discussion with the patient. The HHS Guide provides advice to clinicians who are contemplating or initiating a change in opioid dosage.

“Care must be a patient-centered experience. We need to treat people with compassion, and emphasize personalized care tailored to the specific circumstances and unique needs of each patient,” said Adm. Brett P. Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary for health. “This Guide provides more resources for clinicians to best help patients achieve the dual goals of effective pain management and reduction in the risk for addiction.”