Back to All Events

Study Shows EDs Following CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

New research led by the Mayo Clinic found commercially insured patients who were prescribed opioids from the emergency department were 44% less likely to exceed a three-day supply than those written elsewhere. Those patients were also 38% less likely to exceed a daily dose of 50 milligrams of morphine equivalent, which is almost seven pills of five-milligram oxycodone per day. An opioid prescribing guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued in 2016 cautions against exceeding a three-day supply or 50 milligrams of morphine equivalent per day for acute pain.

There is a reason for that, because patients prescribed a higher dosage were three times more likely to progress to long-term use. ED patients with acute pain were 46% less likely to progress to long-term opioid use than those who received their prescription somewhere else. One in five commercially insured patients in a non-ED setting received a dose exceeding the CDC guideline, according to the study, which was published September 26 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.