CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain

“This clinical practice guideline is intended for clinicians who are treating outpatients aged ≥18 years with acute (duration of <1 month), subacute (duration of 1–3 months), or chronic (duration of >3 months) pain, and excludes pain management related to sickle cell disease, cancer-related pain treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care. The recommendations are most relevant to clinicians whose scope of practice includes prescribing opioids (e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners and other advanced-practice registered nurses, physician assistants, and oral health practitioners). Because clinicians might work within team-based care, this clinical practice guideline also refers to and promotes integrated pain management and collaborative working relationships among clinicians (e.g., behavioral health specialists such as social workers or psychologists, pharmacists, and registered nurses). This guideline update includes recommendations for primary care clinicians (e.g., internists and family physicians) and other clinicians managing pain in outpatient settings (e.g., surgeons, emergency medicine clinicians, occupational medicine clinicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation clinicians, and neurologists). Applicable settings include clinician offices, clinics, and urgent care centers. The recommendations do not apply to care provided to patients who are hospitalized or in an emergency department or other observational setting from which they might be admitted to inpatient care. These recommendations do apply to prescribing for pain management for patients when they are discharged from hospitals, emergency departments, or other facilities.”

Dowell D, Ragan KR, Jones CM, Baldwin GT, Chou R. CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain  United States, 2022. MMWR Recomm Rep 2022;71(No. RR-3):1–95. DOI: is a project of the Real Reporting Foundation. Post last updated February 4, 2024 by Doug McVay, Editor.