The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioid guidelines: potential for unintended consequences and will they be abused?

J. V. Pergolizzi, R. B. Raffa, J. A. LeQuang

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


What is known and objective: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published guidelines for opioid prescribing, with the goal of helping guide clinicians to make safe prescribing choices. In the form of 12 statements, the CDC offers guidance that at times is not supported by the evidence or introduces new concepts (such as a requirement that opioids improve function). Our objective was to examine the new guidelines in terms of how well they could strike the balance between keeping opioids accessible to those who need them while appropriately restricting their use. What is new and conclusion: The CDC guidelines offer some reasonable and laudable guidance, but they also make some recommendations which are not supported by current scientific evidence. We also noted that the urgent need for greater education among opioid prescribers was not addressed in the new guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-593
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016



  • guidelines
  • opioid
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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