Many patients in Pennsylvania are prescribed opioids to treat acute or chronic pain. While opioid medication can help many patients to deal with pain after accidents or surgery, opioids can be highly addictive, especially when they are prescribed for long-term use. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a set of guidelines for physicians who prescribe opioids to patients.
One of the CDC's recommendations for opioid prescription practices is that patients with non-traumatic acute pain should be given a limited supply of opioids. The CDC recommends that physicians only provide these kinds of patients with prescriptions for up to three days supply of opioids. Critics of the CDC's opioid guidelines say that a three-day supply of opioids could be insufficient in many cases, and patient needs should be assessed on an individual basis.
Though doctors should be careful when prescribing potentially addictive drugs, some people argue that the CDC's new guidelines on opioids are too strict and could harm patients who are in serious pain. When a patient is prescribed small doses of opioids that do not provide any pain relief, the patient could be at risk for building up a tolerance to the drug.
Medication mistakes can cause serious injury and harm to patients. A patient who was given the wrong prescription drug or the wrong dosage of the correct prescription drug may have a case for filing a medical negligence claim. An attorney may be able to help an injured patient to determine who is liable for the medication injuries and gather evidence to support the lawsuit.