Experts: Rapidly Taking Patients Off Opioids May Not Be a Good Idea

Updated March 20, 2019

Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair for addiction medicine, was interviewed on why rapidly taking patients off opioids might not be a good idea. The story discusses a letter, published by international experts in the journal Pain Medicine, that outlines risks associated with forcing patients off opioids too quickly, and calls on U.S. policymakers to develop realistic guidelines. Blondell, who was not among authors of the letter, said: “Whether it’s a fast taper or a slow taper, the big question is — well, what do you do after that?” said Blondell, who was not among authors of the letter. “What we really need is better science, not more politics. … In my experience, when you have global recommendations based on expert opinions and you try to apply those to individual patients at individual clinics, there’s a lot that gets lost in translation.”