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Comment & Response
June 2017

Patient and Public Safety Maximized by Rapid Opioid Taper—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(6):896. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1454

In Reply We would like to thank Dr Geller for his insightful letter concerning our Teachable Moment1 and the additional literature regarding the established safety of rapid-dose tapering or discontinuation of opioids. We agree that the best course for our patient was abrupt discontinuation in contrast to a lengthy taper. We would like to emphasize, however, that it was just as essential to offer our patient long-term treatment of opioid dependence immediately following discontinuation to minimize the risk of initiating illicit use of opioids or experiencing an opioid overdose following the loss in tolerance.