CDC’s opioid guidelines had unintended consequences for those with sickle cell disease

A study showed that the 2016 CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain inadvertently led to a decrease in opioid prescriptions for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Researchers found that opioid dispensing rates and dosages decreased among SCD patients following the release of the guidelines. This population, predominantly African American, experienced a rise in pain-related hospitalizations due to inadequate pain control. The study highlights the importance of developing federal guidelines that consider vulnerable populations like those with SCD, emphasizing the need for effective pain management strategies that address the unique challenges faced by these patients.

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