US agency softens opioid prescribing guidelines for doctors

NEW YORK — The nation’s top public health agency on Thursday softened its guidelines for U.S. doctors prescribing oxycodone and other opioid painkillers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new recommendations are an update to 2016 guidelines that added momentum to a decline in opioid painkiller prescriptions.

Opioids painkillers can be addictive — even when used under doctors’ orders — and were identified as a big reason for a rise in U.S. drug overdoses that began more than two decades ago. Other drugs have overtaken them in overdose statistics, and illicit fentanyl is now the biggest driver of deaths.

The previous guidance succeeded in reducing inappropriate and dangerous prescribing, some experts say. But they also were seen as a barrier to care, with some pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions as doctors wrote them.

The new guidelines are designed to ensure that patients get compassionate and safe pain care, CDC officials said.

A draft released in February received 5,500 public comments. Some modifications were made, but several main changes stayed in place, including:

—The CDC no longer suggests trying to limit opioid treatment for acute pain to three days.

—The agency is dropping the specific recommendation that doctors avoid increasing dosage to a level equivalent to 90 milligrams of morphine per day.

—For patients receiving higher doses of opioids, the CDC is urging doctors to not abruptly halt treatment unless there are indications of a life-threatening danger. The agency offers suggestions on tapering patients off the drugs.

———

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source ABC

A tech blog author and superhero who writes about technology and its impact on society, business, and everyday life

Related Posts

Health officials make urgent push for flu and COVID shots as hospitals feel the strain

Health officials are making another urgent push to encourage flu and COVID vaccinations, as multiple respiratory viruses swirl around the country inundating both pediatric and adult hospitals. About 75% of…

Read more

Minnesota town drops Texas-style anti-abortion lawsuit plan

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota town has backed away from a proposal to let people sue abortion providers, including organizations that provide abortion drugs by mail, after the state’s attorney general…

Read more

Memphis hospital: Halt to trans procedures is temporary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Memphis hospital says it has paused, not stopped, its gender-affirming services in response to possible legal action by civil rights advocates who argue the hospital’s move…

Read more

Pfizer asks FDA to clear updated COVID shot for kids under 5

Pfizer is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its updated COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5 — not as a booster but part of their initial shots. Children ages 6…

Read more

New Zealand launches inquiry into its coronavirus response

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics….

Read more

China eases controls, gives no sign when ‘zero COVID’ ends

BEIJING — China is easing some of the world’s most stringent anti-virus controls and authorities say new variants are weaker. But they have yet to say when they might end…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *