New Guidelines from the CDC
The new guidelines urge doctors to take it easy in prescribing the potentially killer drugs, making it clear that over prescribing is driving an epidemic of opioid addiction. The guidelines encourage doctors to try something besides an opioid when first treating pain, even suggesting ice and talk therapy. And if opioids are the best choice, start with the lowest possible dose. The guidelines also suggest that patients question whether they need such strong drugs to control their chronic pain.
- Don’t use opioids first. Try other methods such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or ice.
- When using opioids for the treatment of acute pain 3 days of medication will usually suffice.
- Talk to the patient about what they can expect. 100% pain-free may not be realistic or desirable.
- Make sure the patient knows the risks.
- Never start with the long-acting opiates and use the lowest possible dose.