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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 60. Board of Dentistry
Chapter 21. Regulations Governing the Practice of Dentistry
9/18/2019

18VAC60-21-103. Treatment of Acute Pain with Opioids.

A. Initiation of opioid treatment for all patients with acute pain shall include the following:

1. A prescription for an opioid shall be a short-acting opioid in the lowest effective dose for the fewest number of days, not to exceed seven days as determined by the manufacturer's directions for use, unless extenuating circumstances are clearly documented in the patient record.

2. The dentist shall carefully consider and document in the patient record the reasons to exceed 50 MME per day.

3. Prior to exceeding 120 MME per day, the dentist shall refer the patient to or consult with a pain management specialist and document in the patient record the reasonable justification for such dosage.

4. Naloxone shall be prescribed for any patient when there is any risk factor of prior overdose, substance abuse, or doses in excess of 120 MME per day and shall be considered when concomitant use of benzodiazepine is present.

B. If another prescription for an opioid is to be written beyond seven days, the dentist shall:

1. Reevaluate the patient and document in the patient record the continued need for an opioid prescription; and

2. Check the patient's prescription history in the Prescription Monitoring Program.

C. Due to a higher risk of fatal overdose when opioids are prescribed with benzodiazepines, sedative hypnotics, carisoprodol, and tramadol, the dentist shall only co-prescribe these substances when there are extenuating circumstances and shall document in the patient record a tapering plan to achieve the lowest possible effective doses if these medications are prescribed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-2708.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

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