Clinical Practice Guideline: Inpatient Opioid Management for Acute Pain

Brief Overview:  This guideline covers best practices for using opioids for acute pain in hospitalized patients. This guideline does NOT address chronic pain, opioid therapy in substance use disorder, medications for opioid use disorder/medication-assisted treatment (MOUD/MAT), or analgesia used in combination with sedation in the ICU. For guidance on these conditions, please refer to the OSUWMC guidelines on page 3.


Key Points
• Determine when and how to use opioids to control acute pain in the inpatient setting
• Care plans should aim to:
     o Establish a rapid pain control plan that includes non-opioid                    adjuncts
     o Reduce pain to an acceptable level for adequate functionality
     o Use proper dosing for both opioid-naïve and opioid-tolerant                  patients
     o Facilitate the recovery from underlying disease or injury
     o Minimize the risk of harm from medications
• Give preference to enteral opioids when possible and adjust the regimen as pain improves
• Consider the need for opioids at discharge, if appropriate, and offer naloxone to high-risk patients

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