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Greene SB, Williams CE, Pierson S, Hansen RA, Carey TS. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010;19:218-222.
North Carolina law requires all nursing homes to report medication errors, as discussed in a prior article. Analysis of medication error reports submitted to this Web-based error reporting system revealed that most of the serious errors occurred during evening shifts and involved drugs given to the wrong patient.
FDA identifies harm reported from sudden discontinuation of opioid pain medicines and requires label changes to guide prescribers on gradual, individualized tapering.
Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; April 9, 2019.
Efforts to address the opioid epidemic range from regulation to changes in pain management. This safety announcement raises awareness of potential harms associated with rapidly decreasing the dose of or discontinuing opioids for patients who may be physically dependent on the medication. It also announces a requirement regarding changes to prescribing information for opioids to provide expanded guidance on how to safely taper doses. Health care providers should discuss tapering plans with patients and provide ongoing monitoring and support.