Opioid tapering may improve outcomes for chronic pain sufferers
July 12, 2017 | Marissa Valeri
Dose 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.