New limits take effect for opioid prescriptions in Ohio

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – New rules in Ohio to limit the distribution of opioids take effect Thursday.

The new guidelines, approved by Ohio Governor John Kasich, target pain relievers used for acute pain that normally fades with healing following surgery or a bone fracture.

The governor’s office hopes the new rules will lead to  109 million fewer doses of opiates getting into the hands of addicts each year. Prescription opiates are often the gateway to heroin use.

Highlights of Ohio’s new opiate prescribing limits for acute pain include:

  1. No more than seven days of opiates can be prescribed for adults
  2. No more than five days of opiates can be prescribed for minors
  3. Health care providers can prescribe opiates in excess of the day supply limits only if they provide a specific reason in the
    patient’s medical record. Unless such a reason is given, a health care provider is prohibited from prescribing opiates that
    exceed Ohio’s limits
  4. Except for certain conditions specified in the rules, the total morphine equivalent dose (MED) of a prescription for acute pain
    cannot exceed an average of 30 MED per day
  5. The new limits do not apply to opioids prescribed for cancer, palliative care, end-of-life/hospice care or medication-assisted
    treatment for addiction.

To help enforce the limited exceptions to the rules and enhance data regarding prescribing trends, prescribers will be required to include a diagnosis or procedure code on every controlled substance prescription, which will be entered into Ohio’s prescription monitoring program.

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