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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 222--226

Opioid-prescribing practices in chronic cancer pain in a tertiary care pain clinic


Department of Anaesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Raghu S Thota
Department of Anaesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.92340

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Introduction: Under treatment of pain is a recognized global issue. Opioid analgesic medication is the mainstay of treatment in cancer patients as per the World Health Organization (WHO) pain relief ladder, yet 50% of cancer patients worldwide do not receive adequate pain relief or are undertreated. Aim: The aim of this study was to audit the ongoing opioid-prescribing practices in our tertiary cancer pain clinic during January-June 2010. Materials& Methods: The prescribed type of opioid, dose, dosing interval, and laxatives details were analyzed. Results: Five hundred pain files were reviewed and 435 were found complete for audit. Three hundred forty-eight (80%) patients were prescribed opioids. Two hundred fifty-nine (74.4%) received weak opioids while 118 (33.9%) received strong opioids. A total of 195 (45%) patients had moderate and 184 (42%) had severe pain. Ninety-three (26.7%) patients received morphine; however, only 31.5% (58 of 184) in severe pain received morphine as per the WHO pain ladder. Only 73 of 93 (78.4%) patients received an adequate dose of morphine with an adequate dosing interval and only 27 (29%) were prescribed laxatives with morphine. Conclusion: This study shows that the under treatment of pain and under dosing of opioids coupled with improper side effect management are major issues.






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