From Fierce Healthcare:
Doctors who want to keep patients from becoming dependent on opioid painkillers should not provide refills to the addictive drugs for those just starting on the medication, a new study advises.
Clinicians should think twice before prescribing opioids, but if they do, they should err on the side of caution to when deciding dosages and whether to provide subsequent refills, according to the study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study’s findings support guidelines released in March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to curb widespread opioid abuse. The guidelines advised primary care clinicians to prescribe treatments other than opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care and end-of-life care, to prescribe the lowest effective dosage and limit prescriptions for acute pain to no more than seven days.
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