Vol 13, No 4 (2019)
Review paper
Published online: 2019-09-27

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Drug selection in the treatment of breakthrough pain: how the pharmacokinetic profile of drugsis to be translated into clinical practice

Jarosław Woroń1
Palliat Med Pract 2019;13(4):211-215.


Breakthrough pain in cancer patients (BTP), also referred to as episodic or incident pain, occurs in a signif-icant proportion of patients with baseline pain (40–60%). It is characterized by rapid intensifying (within tens of seconds or a few minutes) and a strong intensity in the numerical rating scale always above 5 and a limited duration, usually up to about 60 minutes. The choice of the drug for the management of BTP in clinical practice should be based on a profound knowledge of pathophysiology of BTP and pharmacokinetic parameters of the drugs used.

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