Opioid analgesics (termed opioids in this report) are a class of drugs commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids include drugs available by prescription such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl. Opioids also include illicit substances such as heroin and fentanyl. Although often prescribed to control pain, opioids may also produce feelings of euphoria and sedation which may lead to misuse of opioids resulting in opioid use disorder. Continue reading
WHO treatment guides for cancer pain provide explanations of the pathophysiology of such pain, how to make adequate assessments, how to choose analgesics, and how to use the ladder. Early studies on its effectiveness demonstrated that the method proposed by the WHO offered inexpensive treatment and adequate relief for 70% to 90% of cancer patients with pain. Continue reading
Equianalgesic tables aid the clinician in making these conversions by providing a rough estimate for starting doses of the new opioid that may produce approximately the same amount of analgesia. Morphine (10 mg IM) is the gold standard to which all other opioids are compared.