Skip to main content

TMB clarifies prescribing limits for acute pain

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is trying to head off confusion about the state’s new 10-day opioid prescribing limit for acute pain, which took effect on September 1, 2019.

During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 2174 which states that for acute pain, practitioners may not “(1) issue a prescription for an opioid in an amount that exceeds a 10-day supply; or (2) provide for a refill of an opioid.”

The TMB issued a statement on August 30 addressing concerns that the new law means acute pain patients must be completely cut off from opioids beyond the 10-day mark. 

“The Texas Medical Board interprets this section to mean a practitioner may write an opioid prescription for up to 10 days without a refill. However, the patient may see the practitioner in a follow-up appointment and receive another opioid prescription for up to 10 days. The law does not limit how many times this may occur,” TMB’s statement says.

“The Texas Medical Board does not interpret this section to limit patients to a maximum of 10 days of opioids for acute pain without the possibility of any further opioids for that specific issue or ‘episode of care.”


Texas Medical Board. Guidance on House Bill 2174. August 30, 2019.