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Absence of evidence to guide opioid reduction in chronic pain

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Review of Eccleston C, Fisher E, Thomas KH, et al. Interventions for the reduction of prescribed opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain. Cochrane Database of Syst Revs 2017;11: 10.1002/14651858.CD010323.pub3.

Key points

  • This updated Cochrane review included five randomised controlled trials investigating methods for reducing opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain.

  • Overall, there was no new evidence to support any psychological, pharmacological or other type of intervention to reduce the use of opioid treatment in people who have chronic pain.

An updated review found no new evidence to guide the reduction of opioid use in people with chronic non-cancer pain.


This update to an earlier Cochrane review assessed evidence from trials evaluating interventions to reduce opioid use in people with chronic non-cancer pain.1 2 Three new studies were included in this review bringing the total number of trials to five, involving …

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  • Contributors DTB Team.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; Internally peer reviewed.