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If you’ve taken opiates for more than 5 days, your body is already dependent on them quitting them requires a medical detox, not just a taper protocol.


Pain is a common problem in cancer survivors.  Survivors can have chronic severe pain that interferes with functioning and may need strong opioids, and other may not require them at all after treatment. Those who no longer need to use opioids will also require a taper from the opioids they have been using. As stated above tapers can be difficult to control due to patient compliance. A better alternative is to use Buprenorphine as an alternative in tapering opioids.

Your patient has just finished treatment and needs to stop opioids safely and easily


Your patient needs to stop opioids because of bad side-effects such as depression or anxiety

You may have patients in your practice who report depression and/or anxiety while on opioids. The relationship between opioid abuse and depression is bi-directional (suffering from one increases the risk of the other). Opioid abuse has been linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders.

St. Louis University, researchers found that 10% of over 100,000 patients prescribed opioids developed depression after using the medications for over a month.

If you have patients in your practice who are reporting these issues they may be an excellent candidate for a Buprenorphine taper.

Persistent opioid use after radiation therapy in opioid-naive cervical cancer survivors

Conclusion Our study showed that 25% of patients with cervical cancer were still using opioids 6 months after radiation. History of substance abuse and depression or anxiety, all known risk factors for opioid misuse, were associated with persistent use. The goal in the disease-free survivor population should be opioid independence. Source

Persistent Postoperative Opioid Use in Older Head and Neck
Cancer Patients

Of the 1190 eligible patients with HNC, 866 (72.8%) received opioid prescriptions attributable to their surgery. Among these 866 patients, the prevalence of PPO use was 33.3% overall; it was 48.3% among the 428 patients with preoperative opioid use compared to 18.5% among the 438 opioid-naive patients (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.80-5.59). Other factors associated with PPO use include postoperative radiotherapy (OR, 1.99; 95%, CI 1.33-2.98) and Charlson comorbidity index (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03-1.41). Postoperative chemotherapy (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.73-1.95) was not significantly associated with PPO use. Source