THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — In a clinical practice guideline issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Nov. 4 issue of the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, updated recommendations are presented for opioid use for the treatment of pain.

Deborah Dowell, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues updated 2016 guidelines and developed recommendations for management of acute, subacute, and chronic pain. Four areas were addressed in the guidelines: determining whether to initiate opioids for pain; selecting opioids and determining dosage; deciding duration of initial prescription and conducting follow-up; and assessing risk and potential harms of opioid use.

The authors recommend that persons with pain receive appropriate treatment, with consideration of the benefits and risks of all treatment options in the context of patient circumstances. The recommendations should not be applied as inflexible standards of care. Twelve recommendations were developed as part of the clinical practice guidelines. To inform implementation across recommendations, five guiding principles were identified, focusing on appropriate treatment of pain; flexibility to meet the patients’ care needs and clinical circumstances; a multimodal and multidisciplinary approach to pain management; avoiding misapplication of the guideline beyond its intended use; and ensuring access to treatment for all persons.

“We’ve been able to improve and expand our recommendations by incorporating new data with a better understanding of people’s lived experiences and the challenges they face when managing pain and pain care,” Dowell said in a statement.

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