Green, C.J.G. & Tay,Y.C. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine. Published online: 4 August 2016
Opiates remain the mainstay of the management of severe pain in acute, chronic and palliative settings across all population ages. Pharmacological advancement allows alternative routes of drug delivery best suited to individual patients and their conditions, with improved efficacy and safety.
The different approaches to administration vary in their convenience, both to staff and patients, which can translate to differences in prescription compliance. Furthermore, the choice of technique can reduce the amount of drug administered, thereby improving the side effect profile.
All opiates, regardless of the technique employed, require meticulous and careful titration based upon sound understanding. Training of staff and education of patients regarding the logistics of the chosen route is important to ensure optimal opiate delivery and detection of undesirable adverse events. Abuse and diversion of opiates warrants judicious administration and prescription considerations.
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