CDC Drafts Updated Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids Amid Ongoing Crisis

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  • 08/19/2022

Amid the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States, the CDC on Thursday released draft updated guidelines for prescribing painkillers that would give doctors more flexibility. 

Guidelines issued in 2016 include specific recommendations, including often limiting opioid prescriptions for acute pain to three days and not exceeding a dose of the equivalent 90 milligrams of morphine per day, The Hill reports

The new guidelines shift from specific numbers to more broadly urge doctors to use caution when prescribing opioids. 

“Clinicians should prescribe the lowest dosage to achieve expected effects,” the guidelines state. 

The CDC recommends that “nonopioid therapies are preferred for subacute and chronic pain” when possible. 

“We’ve built in flexibility so that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Christopher Jones said. The previous specific thresholds, he added, were “essentially taken out of context beyond [their] intent and applied as rigid laws, regulations and policies.”

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