The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is preparing to release new guidelines for prescribing opioids to help manage chronic pain, but there are some unanswered questions about how it will work, a nurse and nurse practitioner told Crypto Coins.HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters on Wednesday that the new guidelines will be released on October 6.
The new guidelines are designed to guide doctors on how to prescribe opioids to treat chronic pain and other conditions that can lead to death.
While it is not yet clear how the new rules will work in practice, many of the existing regulations have limitations that could prevent them from working effectively, the nurse and other advocates told Crypto Coin.
The proposed guidelines would set the standard for prescribing opioid medications in the United States, but experts say it is likely to be a long-term project.
The federal government currently prescribes more than 20 different drugs to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, spasms, muscle spasms and anxiety.
It is also considering regulating more than 30 more drugs.
In an effort to ensure patient safety, experts say the new guideline will include information on dosages, doses and the need for specific monitoring, and how to administer the drug.
The guidance will also include guidance on how many doses to prescribe, the amount of time needed to achieve that dose, and the types of drugs to use.
The proposal has not yet been finalized, but the goal is to get it published as soon as possible, according to Dr. Richard Dolan, director of the National Center for Chronic Pain at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The American College of Physicians, a medical group, has not endorsed the guidelines, and experts say that they could lead to the unnecessary prescribing of more opioids, such as hydrocodone, or other more powerful opioids, the National Institute of Drug Abuse has said.
Dr. Dolan told Crypto News that many of these concerns are likely overblown.
“The problem with opioids is that they are very, very powerful,” he said.
“They are very addictive.
And they can cause a lot of problems for people who need them.”
The guidelines are intended to help patients better manage their pain, not to make it easier for them to abuse drugs, said Dr. Jennifer McLean, a clinical associate professor of medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center and an expert in opioid pain management.
“It is not intended to create a new pathway for prescribing drugs that are very effective, but to help us address the underlying pain,” she told Crypto and CNBC.
While the guidelines will give doctors more information about the medications they prescribe and provide guidance on the proper dosage and timing, it does not address the question of whether the medications should be given to patients in a timely fashion.
The guidelines recommend giving opioids to patients within 12 to 48 hours, with some opioids recommended for patients whose pain is less severe.
“Given the high rates of overdose and dependence associated with opioid use, it is critical that clinicians take into account these issues and ensure that patients are provided with the proper and appropriate care,” the guidelines state.
It is also unclear what, if any, penalties would apply to doctors who fail to prescribe the right amount of opioids.
“There is not a set amount of opioid medication you should be prescribing.
It’s about how much you are willing to take,” said Dr Dolan.
The new guidelines, if finalized, could have implications for the millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain.
“I don’t think the opioid industry wants to see us go to the extreme, which would be to just prescribe opioids as a last resort,” said McLean.
“We want to be in the same boat with other prescription drugs.”