Much-needed opioids guide addresses information gap for patients

NPS MedicineWise

As part of a national effort to help reduce the number of Australians experiencing harm from pharmaceutical opioids, a new patient guide to managing pain and opioid medicines was released today by the NPS MedicineWise Choosing Wisely Australia initiative.

Hospital staff will be encouraged to provide the two-page patient guide on Managing pain and opioid medicines to people prescribed opioids as inpatients, or on discharge to raise awareness about opioids use for short-term pain, their side effects and the risks of dependence.

The guide, developed in consultation with the Queensland Clinical Senate with testing supported by the Queensland Opioid Stewardship Program and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists (SHPA), has three key elements to support people who are prescribed opioids:

· Five questions people are encouraged to ask their health professional before leaving hospital with opioids. This has been modelled on Choosing Wisely Australia’s 5 questions to ask your doctor resource to guide better conversations with health professionals about tests, treatments and procedures.

· Tips for taking and storing opioids at home.

· A personal pain management plan that should be developed in conjunction with a health professional.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris said: “With statistics showing three lives are lost, 150 people are hospitalised and 14 people present to emergency departments every day due to harm caused by pharmaceutical opioids, we need to ensure

/Public Release.