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Health Agencies Update
November 26, 2019

HHS Guide for Tapering or Stopping Long-term Opioid Use

JAMA. 2019;322(20):1947. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18979

Physicians should not taper or discontinue patients’ long-term opioid pain medicine use without discussing it with them, emphasizes a new guide from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Misapplication of 2016 opioid prescribing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been cited as a contributing factor for abrupt tapering or discontinuation of opioids in patients who have been stable on the drugs for years.

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