"Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (Cows) Flow-Sheet"

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Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS)
Flow-sheet for measuring symptoms over a period of time during buprenorphine
.
induction
For each item, write in the number that best describes the patient’s signs or symptom. Rate on
just the apparent relationship to opiate withdrawal. For example, if heart rate is increased
because the patient was jogging just prior to assessment, the increase pulse rate would not add to
the score.
Patient’s Name:___________________________
Date: ______________
Buprenorphine induction:
Enter scores at time zero, 30min after first dose, 2 h after first dose, etc.
Times:
______
______
______
______
Resting Pulse Rate: (record beats per minute)
Measured after patient is sitting or lying for one minute
0 pulse rate 80 or below
1 pulse rate 81-100
2 pulse rate 101-120
4 pulse rate greater than 120
Sweating: over past ½ hour not accounted for by room
temperature or patient activity.
0 no report of chills or flushing
1 subjective report of chills or flushing
2 flushed or observable moistness on face
3 beads of sweat on brow or face
4 sweat streaming off face
Restlessness Observation during assessment
0 able to sit still
1 reports difficulty sitting still, but is able to do so
3 frequent shifting or extraneous movements of legs/arms
5 Unable to sit still for more than a few seconds
Pupil size
0 pupils pinned or normal size for room light
1 pupils possibly larger than normal for room light
2 pupils moderately dilated
5 pupils so dilated that only the rim of the iris is visible
Bone or Joint aches If patient was having pain
previously, only the additional component attributed
to opiates withdrawal is scored
0 not present
1 mild diffuse discomfort
2 patient reports severe diffuse aching of joints/ muscles
4 patient is rubbing joints or muscles and is unable to sit
still because of discomfort
Runny nose or tearing Not accounted for by cold
symptoms or allergies
0 not present
1 nasal stuffiness or unusually moist eyes
2 nose running or tearing
4 nose constantly running or tears streaming down cheeks
Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS)
Flow-sheet for measuring symptoms over a period of time during buprenorphine
.
induction
For each item, write in the number that best describes the patient’s signs or symptom. Rate on
just the apparent relationship to opiate withdrawal. For example, if heart rate is increased
because the patient was jogging just prior to assessment, the increase pulse rate would not add to
the score.
Patient’s Name:___________________________
Date: ______________
Buprenorphine induction:
Enter scores at time zero, 30min after first dose, 2 h after first dose, etc.
Times:
______
______
______
______
Resting Pulse Rate: (record beats per minute)
Measured after patient is sitting or lying for one minute
0 pulse rate 80 or below
1 pulse rate 81-100
2 pulse rate 101-120
4 pulse rate greater than 120
Sweating: over past ½ hour not accounted for by room
temperature or patient activity.
0 no report of chills or flushing
1 subjective report of chills or flushing
2 flushed or observable moistness on face
3 beads of sweat on brow or face
4 sweat streaming off face
Restlessness Observation during assessment
0 able to sit still
1 reports difficulty sitting still, but is able to do so
3 frequent shifting or extraneous movements of legs/arms
5 Unable to sit still for more than a few seconds
Pupil size
0 pupils pinned or normal size for room light
1 pupils possibly larger than normal for room light
2 pupils moderately dilated
5 pupils so dilated that only the rim of the iris is visible
Bone or Joint aches If patient was having pain
previously, only the additional component attributed
to opiates withdrawal is scored
0 not present
1 mild diffuse discomfort
2 patient reports severe diffuse aching of joints/ muscles
4 patient is rubbing joints or muscles and is unable to sit
still because of discomfort
Runny nose or tearing Not accounted for by cold
symptoms or allergies
0 not present
1 nasal stuffiness or unusually moist eyes
2 nose running or tearing
4 nose constantly running or tears streaming down cheeks
GI Upset: over last ½ hour
0 no GI symptoms
1 stomach cramps
2 nausea or loose stool
3 vomiting or diarrhea
5 Multiple episodes of diarrhea or vomiting
Tremor observation of outstretched hands
0 No tremor
1 tremor can be felt, but not observed
2 slight tremor observable
4 gross tremor or muscle twitching
Yawning Observation during assessment
0 no yawning
1 yawning once or twice during assessment
2 yawning three or more times during assessment
4 yawning several times/minute
Anxiety or Irritability
0 none
1 patient reports increasing irritability or anxiousness
2 patient obviously irritable anxious
4 patient so irritable or anxious that participation in the
assessment is difficult
Gooseflesh skin
0 skin is smooth
3 piloerrection of skin can be felt or hairs standing up on
arms
5 prominent piloerrection
Total scores
with observer’s initials
Score:
5-12 = mild;
13-24 = moderate;
25-36 = moderately severe;
more than 36 = severe withdrawal
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