Choosing Wisely:

Don’t prescribe opioid analgesics as long-term therapy to treat chronic non-cancer pain until the risks are considered and discussed with the patient.

Rationale and Comments: Patients should be informed of the risks of such treatment, including the potential for addiction. Physicians and patients should review and sign a written agreement that identifies the responsibilities of each party (e.g., urine drug testing) and the consequences of non-compliance with the agreement. Physicians should be cautious in coprescribing opioids and benzodiazepines. Physicians should proactively evaluate and treat, if indicated, the nearly universal side effects of constipation and low testosterone or estrogen.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Neurologic
  • References: • Manchikanti L, Abdi S, Atluri S, Balog CC, Benyamin RM, Boswell MV, Brown KR, Bruel BM, Bryce DA, Burks PA, Burton AW, Calodney AK, Caraway DL, Cash KA, Christo PJ, Damron KS, Datta S, Deer TR, Diwan S, Eriator I, Falco FJ, Fellows B, Geffert S, Gharibo CG, Glaser SE, Grider JS, Hameed H, Hameed M, Hansen H, Harned ME, Hayek SM, Helm S 2nd, Hirsch JA, Janata JW, Kaye AD, Kaye AM, Kloth DS, Koyyalagunta D, Lee M, Malla Y, Manchikanti KN, McManus CD, Pampati V, Parr AT, Pasupuleti R, Patel VB, Sehgal N, Silverman SM, Singh V, Smith HS, Snook LT, Solanki DR, Tracy DH, Vallejo R, Wargo BW; American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP) guidelines for responsible opioid prescribing in chronic non-cancer pain: part 2—guidance. Pain Physician. 2012 July;15:S67–116.
    • Atluri S, Akbik H, Sudarshan G. Prevention of opioid abuse in chronic non-cancer pain: an algorithmic, evidence based approach. Pain Physician. 2012 Jul;15:ES177–89.
    • Colameco S, Coren JS, Ciervo CA. Continuous opioid treatment for chronic noncancer pain: a time for moderation in prescribing. Postgrad Med. 2009;121(4):61–6.
    • Kahan M, Srivastava A, Wilson L, Gourlay D, Midmer D. Misuse of and dependence on opioids: study of chronic pain patients. Can Fam Physician. 2006;52(9):1081–7.
    • Warner EA. Opioids for the treatment of chronic noncancer pain. Am J Med. 2012;125(12):1155–61.

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