Opioid therapy for chronic low back pain: Prescribing considerations for advanced practice registered nurses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic low back pain is a common, disabling, and costly condition, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) must carefully evaluate patients before considering long-term opioid therapy as a management strategy. APRNs should refer patients suspected of having a serious condition, or identifiable etiology, for specialist evaluation, as many patients improve with physical therapy, interventional pain management procedures, or surgical intervention. For patients unresponsive to nonopioid treatment, APRNs with an understanding of opioids, and the experience to assess and manage the risks of opioid misuse, abuse, and diversion, may consider long-term opioid therapy as part of a multimodal management plan. Such prescribing necessitates careful patient selection; informed consent; prudent opioid dosing and titration; and monitoring for response to treatment, adverse effects, and aberrant drug-taking behavior. Treatment and regulatory guidelines can assist APRNs in providing safe and effective care to patients with chronic low back pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-366
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Low back pain
  • Opioid therapy
  • Pain management
  • Prescribing guidelines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical

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