What’s New, What’s Changed

Clinicians should use the 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain (2022 Clinical Practice Guideline) recommendations to work with patients to assess the benefits and risks of initiating or continuing opioid therapy for pain management.  

The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline reflects updated evidence and research on the risks and benefits of prescription opioids for acute, subacute, and chronic pain, opioid dosing strategies and dose-response relationships, opioid tapering and discontinuation, comparisons with nonopioid pain treatments, and risk mitigation strategies.

doctor patient in mask

The 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline provides recommendations to clinicians providing pain care, including those prescribing opioids, for outpatients 18 years or older, to equip them with the information they need to discuss pain care options with their patients and to work with patients to help them achieve their personal goals for pain care, function, and quality of life. More specifically, its purpose is to help clinicians:

  • Improve communication between clinicians and patients about the benefits and risks of pain treatments, including opioid therapy for pain.
  • Improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment.
  • Mitigate pain.
  • Improve function and quality of life for patients with pain.
  • Reduce the risks associated with opioid pain therapy (including opioid use disorder, overdose, and death).

The recommendations exclude pain management related to sickle cell disease, cancer-related pain treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

Disclaimer: The following webpages provide a high-level overview of the 2022 Clinical Practice Guideline. For in-depth information and implementation considerations of the guidance, you are encouraged to read the full 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain.

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