CDC Publishes Updated Opioid Prescription Guidelines

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Mar 3, 2022
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published proposed guidelines for prescribing opioids to treat pain in patients 18 years and older. The proposed guidelines mark the first update to the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain since 2016. 

The guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for clinicians who provide care for outpatients with acute pain (duration less than 1 month), subacute pain (duration of 1-3 months), or chronic pain (duration of 3 months or more), not including sickle cell disease-related pain management, cancer pain treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

The guidelines include updated recommendations for dentists, primary care clinicians, and other medical professionals that prescribe opioids to treat pain. The proposed guidelines serve as recommendations only and do not require mandatory compliance. The guidelines are meant to support clinical judgement and individualized patient care. 

Comments on the proposed opioid prescribing guidelines are due by April 11, 2022.

Impact on General Dentistry: As oral health care providers, general dentists use a variety of tools to treat and manage dental pain. AGD supports responsible opioid prescribing practices and is reviewing the CDC’s proposed prescribing guidelines for treating dental and postoperative pain.