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Published: November 8, 2022

CDC Adds Flexibility to Prescribing Guidelines

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released updated guidelines (all 88 pages of them) that provide recommendations for clinicians providing pain care, including those prescribing opioids, for outpatients aged ≥18 years. CDC recognized their original guidance was often misapplied; it was supposed to serve as a roadmap for clinicians navigating tricky decisions around opioids and pain but was many times interpreted as a rigid set of rules. These new guidelines offer clinicians more flexibility in the way they prescribe opioids for short- and long-term pain while also emphasizing a return to focusing on the individual patient needs and not relying on numerical dose limits and caps on length of treatment. The guidelines address four areas: 1) determining whether or not to initiate opioids for pain, 2) selecting opioids and determining opioid dosages, 3) deciding duration of initial opioid prescription and conducting follow-up, and 4) assessing risk and addressing potential harms of opioid use. As many know, in September 2018 the FDA also issued an Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain.  CAFP is part of a national coalition, the Collaboration for Opioid REMS Education (CO*RE), that has recently put together a curriculum to share this important information with clinicians.

CO*RE – CAFP is offering both live and online education, “Pain Management and Opioids: Balancing Risks and Benefits,” that meets the new 2022 CDC guidelines, the California state pain CME requirements and also fully covers the current FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain. For more information, contact Anita Charles at ACharles@familydocs.org.


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