The information below is intended as a reference only, and should not be taken as medical advice. If you have questions about your medications, consult your pharmacist, doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional.

Tapering Guidance   

  • A gradual dose reduction of 5-10% of the morphine equivalent dose every 2-4 weeks, adjusting as tolerated, with frequent follow up is a reasonable rate to commence opioid tapering. 
  • Switching the patient from immediate release to controlled release opioids on a fixed dosing schedule may assist some patients in adhering to the withdrawal plan. 
  • Patients and physicians may wish to consult a pharmacist to assist with scheduling dose reductions. 

Withdrawal Symptoms and Monitoring Guidance   

  • Initial: Restlessness, runny nose, goose flesh, sweating, muscle cramps, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, pain, dilation of the pupils   
  • Protracted: depression, anxiety, craving

Additional Information

For rapid tapering if needed, or if considering tapering in the presence of Substance Use Disorder locally relevant guidelines or specialist advice should be used as a reference.