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Vol 1, No 1 (2002): Polish Palliative Medicine
Artykuły poglądowe
Published online: 2002-05-07
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Methadone in cancer pain treatment

Małgorzata Krajnik, Zbigniew Żylicz
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2002;1(1):15-22.

open access

Vol 1, No 1 (2002): Polish Palliative Medicine
Artykuły poglądowe
Published online: 2002-05-07

Abstract

In recent years, methadone has been increasingly used as the second-line opioid for treatment of pain in patients with cancer. The main barrier in wider use of this drug is probably due to its long half-life that could lead to accumulation and toxicity. Advantages are mostly consequences of the lack of active metabolites, good absorption by oral and rectal routes and the low cost of the drug. Rotation to methadone as a second line opioid may be more complex comparing to other opioids, because in opioid tolerant patients who are on higher doses of other opioids, methadone seems to have increased potency. Future trials should answer the question about the place of methadone as a first line opioid in cancer pain in some indications, in neuropathic pain and in patients who develop rapid tolerance to other opioids.

Abstract

In recent years, methadone has been increasingly used as the second-line opioid for treatment of pain in patients with cancer. The main barrier in wider use of this drug is probably due to its long half-life that could lead to accumulation and toxicity. Advantages are mostly consequences of the lack of active metabolites, good absorption by oral and rectal routes and the low cost of the drug. Rotation to methadone as a second line opioid may be more complex comparing to other opioids, because in opioid tolerant patients who are on higher doses of other opioids, methadone seems to have increased potency. Future trials should answer the question about the place of methadone as a first line opioid in cancer pain in some indications, in neuropathic pain and in patients who develop rapid tolerance to other opioids.
Get Citation

Keywords

methadone; cancer pain; opioid rotation; opioid pharmacology

About this article
Title

Methadone in cancer pain treatment

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 1, No 1 (2002): Polish Palliative Medicine

Pages

15-22

Published online

2002-05-07

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2002;1(1):15-22.

Keywords

methadone
cancer pain
opioid rotation
opioid pharmacology

Authors

Małgorzata Krajnik
Zbigniew Żylicz

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