Use of Opioids in the Treatment of Severe Pain in Terminally Ill Patients -- Dying Should Not Be Painful

Moynihan, Timothy J.
November 2003
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2003, Vol. 78 Issue 11, p1397
Academic Journal
Pain is a common symptom at the end of life. The vast majority of pain can be readily managed if simple principles of practice are followed. Chronic pain requires continuous analgesia, and severe pain requires use of strong analgesics, most commonly the opioids. In addition to drugs administered continually, short-acting medications must be available for "breakthrough" pain. This article reviews the principles of pain management in terminally ill patients, using a case-based demonstration.


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