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A Survey on Opioid Tapering Practices, Policies, and Perspectives by Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacists.

Kral LA, Bettinger JJ, Vartan CM, Hadlandsmyth K, Kullgren J, Smith MA. A Survey on Opioid Tapering Practices, Policies, and Perspectives by Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacists. Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. 2022 Mar 1; 36(1):2-10.

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Opioid tapering is an essential clinical tool to utilize for a variety of reasons, including safety and analgesic optimization. The need for individualized regimens reveals a corresponding need for healthcare providers who can actively manage patients throughout the process. Pharmacists have taken on an integral role for achieving success in opioid tapering. This survey was conducted to describe the current opioid tapering practices of pain and palliative care pharmacists. A Qualtrics survey was offered to the Society of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacist members. The majority (87%) indicated they specialized in pain management. Almost all respondents (98%) reported providing tapering recommendations and 82% reported being involved with patient monitoring throughout the taper. The majority (multiple responses could be chosen) noted that the indication for initiating an opioid taper was due to abuse/misuse (91%), reduced overall efficacy (89%), and adverse drug reactions (78%). The most common follow-up intervals during tapering were weekly (15%), every 2?weeks (22%), and every 4?weeks (44%). This practice-based survey, though small, showed that pharmacists in pain management and palliative care are actively involved in opioid tapering. This survey will hopefully serve as a foundation for continuing research into opioid tapering and the pharmacist''s role therein.

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