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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 4731-11-13 | Prescribing of opiate analgesics for acute pain.


(A) For the treatment of acute pain, the physician shall comply with the following:

(1) Extended-release or long-acting opioid analgesics shall not be prescribed for treatment of acute pain;

(2) Before prescribing an opioid analgesic, the physician shall first consider non-opioid treatment options. If opioid analgesic medications are required as determined by a history and physical examination, the physician shall prescribe for the minimum quantity and potency needed to treat the expected duration of pain, with a presumption that a three-day supply or less is frequently sufficient and that limiting the duration of opioid use to the necessary period will decrease the likelihood of subsequent chronic use or dependence;

(3) In all circumstances where opioid analgesics are prescribed for acute pain:

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this rule, the duration of the first opioid analgesic prescription for the treatment of an episode of acute pain shall be:

(i) For adults, not more than a seven-day supply with no refills;

(ii) For minors, not more than a five-day supply with no refills. A physician shall comply with section 3719.061 of the Revised Code, including but not limited to obtaining from the parent, guardian, or another adult who is authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment written consent prior to prescribing an opioid analgesic to a minor;

(iii) The seven-day limit for adults and five-day limit for minors may be exceeded for pain that is expected to persist for longer than seven days based on the pathology causing the pain. In this circumstance, the reason that the limits are being exceeded and the reason that a non-opioid medication was not appropriate to treat the patients conditions shall be documented in the patients medical record. The number of days of the prescription shall not exceed the amount required to treat the expected duration of the pain as noted in paragraph (A) (2) of this rule; and

(iv) If a patient is allergic to or otherwise unable to tolerate the initially prescribed opioid medication, a prescription for a different, appropriate opioid may be issued at any time during the initial seven or five-day dosing period and shall be subject to all other provisions of this rule. The allergy and/or intolerance shall be documented in the patients medical record. The patient or the minor patient's parent, guardian or another adult who is authorized to consent to the minor's medical treatment must be provided education of the safe disposal of the unused medication.

(b) The patient, or a minors parent or guardian, shall be advised of the benefits and risks of the opioid analgesic, including the potential for addiction, and the advice shall be documented in the patients medical record; and

(c) The total morphine equivalent dose (MED) of a prescription for opioid analgesics for treatment of acute pain shall not exceed an average of thirty MED per day, except when all of the following apply:

(i) The patient suffers from medical conditions, surgical outcomes or injuries of such severity that pain cannot be managed within the thirty MED average limit as determined by the treating physician based upon prevailing standards of medical care, such as:

(a) Traumatic crushing of tissue;

(b) Amputation;

(c) Major orthopedic surgery;

(d) Severe burns

(ii) The physician determines that exceeding the thirty MED average limit is necessary based on the physicians clinical judgment and the patients needs.

(iii) The physician shall document in the patients medical record the reason for exceeding the thirty MED average and the reason it is the lowest dose consistent with the patients medical condition.

(iv) Only the prescribing physician for the conditions in paragraph (A)(3)(c)(i) of this rule may exceed the thirty MED average. The prescribing physician shall be held singularly accountable for prescriptions that exceed the thirty MED average.

(v) In circumstances when the thirty MED average is exceeded, the dose shall not exceed the dose required to treat the severity of the pain as noted in paragraph (A)(2) of this rule.

(d) Prescriptions that exceed the five or seven day supply or thirty MED average daily dose are subject to additional review by the state medical board. The dosage, days supplied, and condition for which the opioid analgesic is prescribed will be considered as part of this additional review.

(B) The requirements of paragraph (A) of this rule apply to treatment of acute pain and do not apply when an opioid analgesic is prescribed:

(1) To an individual who is a hospice patient or in a hospice care program;

(2) To an individual receiving palliative care;

(3) To an individual who has been diagnosed with a terminal condition; or

(4) To an individual who has cancer or another condition associated with the individuals cancer or history of cancer.

(C) This rule does not apply to prescriptions for opioid analgesics for the treatment of opioid addiction utilizing a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance narcotic that is approved by the federal drug administration for opioid detoxification or maintenance treatment.

(D) This rule does not apply to inpatient prescriptions as defined in Chapter 4729. of the Revised Code.

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3719.062, 4731.05
Amplifies: 3719.062
Five Year Review Date: 8/31/2022