What are the guidelines for maximal narcotic dosing?

The current guidelines state patients should avoid taking more than 90 MME of narcotics/day. MME means “morphine mg equivalents”.  This is a way to compare any narcotic to morphine so we can compare the strength of the other narcotic. 

For example, we all know what $100 is, but how much are 100 euros?  Or how much are 100 pesos?  Much like different country currency, the MME calculators will standardize narcotic dosing so we can figure out how much of any narcotic is in morphine doses. 

For example, oxycodone has an “exchange rate” of 1.5 mg to morphine.  So, 10 mg of oxycodone is actually equal to 15 mg of morphine.  (10 x 1.5= 15).  After converting your narcotics to morphine, you add up all the doses.  This total amount should not be more than 90 mg of morphine/day. 

If you are taking more than 90 MME /day, you are potentially putting yourself at risk for future challenges. You should discuss your long term goals about narcotics with your prescribing doctor. 

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