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This paper focuses on the best practices based on available evidence and research gaps across the key steps in the tapering process:

  • Review of indications for an opioid taper
  • Shared decision-making and patient engagement when tapering opioids
  • Selecting the speed of an opioid taper
  • Considerations and potential approaches when tapering opioids
    • Use of non-opioid pharmacological therapy and non-pharmacological therapies to ensure comprehensive pain management
    • Managing withdrawal symptoms
    • Approaches to managing a challenging taper
    • Tapering a patient who is co-prescribed opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines, and other central nervous system depressants
  • Priorities for future research


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