Use this form to find a sample tapering protocol for a specific opioid and dose. This protocol is based on a 10%-20% reduction every 1-4 weeks, with the last third of the program taking the longest.
Schedule for reducing the dose of my opioid medication
Choose the opioid drug you take:
DO NOT REDUCE YOUR DOSE WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR’S OR PHARMACIST’S SUPERVISION
See your doctor or pharmacist to develop a personalized plan that’s right for you.
Your tolerance to opioids will reduce as you cut down your dose. This means YOU ARE AT RISK OF OVERDOSING IF YOU QUICKLY GO BACK TO HIGH DOSES OF OPIOIDS. Always take opioids as prescribed.
WITHDRAWAL SIDE EFFECTS
When reducing the dose of an opioid too quickly, some people may experience withdrawal reactions (e.g. insomnia, anxiety, nausea). Various strategies and treatments are available to manage withdrawal side effects. Talk to your health care provider to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms.
DO NOT CUT SLOW-RELEASE TABLETS IN HALF. Cutting pills in half destroys the slow-release coating on the pill. You may receive a higher dose and risk overdosing.
If you would like additional detailed information about opioid deprescribing, click here to see the Opioid Tapering Template produced by RxFiles Academic Detailing.