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Medically supervised taper for ultra high-dose opioids with significant comorbidities using a multidisciplinary approach: A case report

Denise Wilkes, MD, PhD, Jasmine M. Mitchell, MD, Kip John Winden, DO, David Parker, MD


Introduction: The opioid epidemic and current opioid use guidelines for chronic noncancer pain have resulted in an overwhelmingly large number of patients undergoing opioid tapers. Even though the literature for tapering guidelines is growing, there is little guidance for tapering patients on ultra high-dose opioids.

Case description: This case report describes in detail the opioid tapering approach used to taper a 53-year-old male with chronic low back pain on a regimen of a morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) of 1,990 mg. Patient reported many side effects such as chronic nausea, irritability, psychomotor depression, and functional impairment. He was admitted for a medically supervised opioid taper for 12 days.

Results: The patient was discharged with an MEDD of 392 mg with additional taper as an outpatient to an MEDD of 200 mg. Adequate pain relief and resolution of side effects were achieved without the patient reporting significant withdrawal symptomatology in the outpatient setting.



opioid taper, wean, opioids, chronic pain, multidisciplinary approach

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