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5 steps to tapering opioids​

​Tapering opioids may not worsen chronic non-cancer pain, and recent evidence suggests that it improves function and quality of life.

Find out more about how to prepare a successful tapering plan for opioids.


Patient-focused resources

The below resources were designed to assist GPs in discussions with patients regarding tapering and lowering opioid medicines for chronic pain:

Podcast: Tapering opioids in partnership with patients with chronic non-cancer pain

In this special edition of the NPS MedicineWise podcast, Dr Jill Thistlethwaite talks with Associate Professor Michael Vagg, pain physician and Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and Mr Don Firth, a member of Painaustralia’s Consumer Advisory Group, about the challenges involved in tapering opioids. They discuss the practical aspects of tapering, drawing from their different experiences, and sharing examples from clinical practice.


For more information...


Opioids, chronic pain and the bigger picture

Opioid medicines in chronic non-cancer pain – balancing opioid-related harm with effective pain management and quality of life.

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Neuropathic pain

Accurate diagnosis is key to optimal management of this challenging condition.

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Low back pain

Providing reassurance, encouraging activity and reducing reliance on imaging.

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Opioids: New and amended PBS listings

Changes made to support the appropriate prescribing and use of opioids, and reduce harms.

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Medicinal cannabis: what you need to know

Information and resources about medicinal cannabis for consumers and health professionals.

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Choosing Wisely Australia

Choosing Wisely recommendations for opioids across different healthcare settings.