The Canadian Guideline is intended to assist physicians with decisions to initiate appropriate trials of opioid therapy for patients with chronic non-cancer pain, to monitor long-term opioid therapy, and to detect and respond appropriately to situations of opioid misuse including addiction. It was not designed to serve as a standard of care nor as a training manual.
The document addresses safe and effective prescribing of opioids for CNCP (defined as pain that persists for more than six months) in male and female adolescents and adults. The target audience is primary-care physicians and medical and surgical specialists who manage patients with CNCP. Pharmacists, nurses, and dentists may also find it useful. The scope does not include using opioids for acute pain and end-of-life pain, or CNCP treatment modalities and approaches other than opioids.