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Editor's Note
August 9, 2021

Appropriate Opioid Prescribing for Acute Pain

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medicine, University of California San Francisco
  • 2The San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • 3NYC Health and Hospitals, New York, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(12):1657-1658. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.4280

Editorials in JAMA Internal Medicine have long advocated for decreased use of opioids for chronic pain.1 Studies have shown that initial prescriptions for opioids to treat acute pain increase the likelihood of persistent opioid use and abuse.2,3 One response at the state level has been to restrict the number of days of initial opioid prescription. In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Cramer et al4 found that in states that limited initial prescriptions to 7 days or fewer, length of prescriptions decreased by 1.7 days per patient enrolled in Medicare Part D compared with states that did not restrict the length of prescriptions. This decrease in opioid use was small but probably meaningful.

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