Announcing the CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain

J Safety Res. 2016 Jun;57:83-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2016.03.007. Epub 2016 Apr 16.


This guideline provides recommendations for primary care providers who are prescribing opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care. The guideline addresses: (a) when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain; (b) opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; and (c) assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use. This guideline is intended to improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including abuse, dependence, overdose, and death (Dowell D, Haegerich TM, Chou R. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain - United States, 2016. MMWR Recomm Rep 2016;65:1-49. DOI:

Keywords: Chronic pain; Opioids; Prescription drug.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects*
  • Chronic Pain / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States


  • Analgesics, Opioid