U.S. Government Urges Caution When Taking Patients Off Opioid Painkillers

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors should be more cautious when taking chronic pain patients off opioid painkillers, according to a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidance released Thursday.

The recommendation comes in response to concerns that many doctors have been halting opioid prescriptions too quickly, and even dismissing patients from their practice in some cases, according to The New York Times.

In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines that urged primary care doctors to be more cautious when prescribing opioids.

The latest guidance tackles the other side of that equation, including outlining the potential harms to patients who abruptly stop taking opioids and explaining factors to consider and measures to take before starting to ease patients off the drugs, The Times reported.

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