Use of opioids in the treatment of severe pain in terminally ill patients--dying should not be painful.

Mayo Clin Proc 2003 Nov;78(11):1397-401

Division of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn 55905, USA.

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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http://dx.doi.org/10.4065/78.11.1397DOI Listing
November 2003
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