Declan Walsh, MSC, FACP | Authors

Opioid Rotation in Cancer Patients: Pros and Cons

April 01, 2005

Opioid rotation involves changing from one opioid to another usingcorrect equianalgesic conversion techniques to achieve better analgesiaand/or fewer side effects. The strategy appears to work because ofsignificant interindividual variations in response to both analgesic activityand toxicity. Although there are many retrospective studies, fewprospective controlled trials of opioid rotation have been published.The practical and theoretical advantages of opioid rotation includeimproved analgesia, reduced side effects, cost reduction, and improvedcompliance. Disadvantages include problems related to inaccurate conversiontables, limited availability of certain opioid formulations, druginteractions, and the possibility of increased expense. Weighing theadvantages and disadvantages is essential prior to making a decisionabout opioid rotation selection.

Opioids in Cancer Pain: Common Dosing Errors

April 01, 2003

Many individuals with advanced malignancy continue to sufferfrom pain and, consequently, impaired quality of life. The clinicalscenarios in advanced cancer pain are complex, and successful managementmay require a more sophisticated and individualized approachthan suggested by the World Health Organization guidelines.In patients referred to the Harry R. Horvitz Center for PalliativeMedicine in Cleveland, numerous commonly occurring errors inopioid use have been noted. This article describes these errors andoffers strategies with which to improve outcomes for patients sufferingwith cancer pain.

Current Management of Opioid-Related Side Effects

January 01, 2001

The optimal management of opioid-related side effects is hampered by a lack of comparative studies of management strategies. The prevalence of such side effects is influenced by the extent of disease, the patient’s

Palliative Management of the Patient With Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

September 01, 1996

For the patient with advanced pancreatic cancer, curative strategies may not be appropriate, and palliative symptom management may be the best approach to patient care. Oncologists,