HHS creates clinician resource for tapering patients' opioid use

HHS published a five-page guide on how to safely taper patients off opioids Oct. 10.  

Abrupt changes in opioid prescriptions can potentially harm patients if not made deliberately and collaboratively. The new HHS guide advises clinicians on how to safely reduce or discontinue long-term opioid use in patients with chronic pain. 

"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," Adm. Brett P. Giroir, MD, assistant secretary for health at HHS, said in an Oct 10 news release

HHS recommends physicians review current treatments with the patient and determine if tapering is appropriate based on each individual. 

The full guide includes an opioid tapering flowchart, the DSM-5 Opioid Use Disorder definition and guidelines for special populations, among other resources. 

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