ARCHIVE Published on: 2017-07-12

Opioid tapering may improve outcomes for chronic pain sufferers

screenshot-www.eurekalert.org-2017-07-12-12-58-20.pngDose reduction may improve pain, function, and quality of life for patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. Results of a systematic evidence review are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Approximately 10 million U.S. adults are prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. This dramatic increase in opioid prescribing has been accompanied by increases in opioid overdose. Expert guidelines recommend reducing or discontinuing long-term opioid therapy when risks outweigh the benefits, but evidence on the effects of dose reduction on patient outcomes had not been systematically reviewed.

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