Published by Medscape

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has updated its guidelines on the use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain, with new policies underscoring the need for physicians to be proactive in helping to turn the tide of the nation’s opioid epidemic.

“The FSMB workgroup worked diligently to identify a number of specific areas that could be updated to more closely align with recent advisories issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and the US Food and Drug Administration [FDA], as well as the current science for treating chronic pain with opioid analgesics,” Humayun Chaudhry, DO, president and CEO of the FSMB, told Medscape Medical News.

Among the key misconceptions among clinicians in the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain is the realistic goal of pain management with extended-release or long-acting opioids, which should not necessarily be to eliminate pain altogether but to provide enough pain control to allow for the ability to carry on with daily activities, Dr Chaudhry said.

“The elimination of pain is not always practical or achievable, especially in patients who have incurable and permanent neurological damage or injury.”

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