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opiates and opioids

see also:

general usage in the ED

  • if opiates are needed for pain management:
    • adverse reactions related to dose, or known side effect profiles such as nausea, itch and dysphoria, should be managed with careful attention to dose, speed of administration and pre-emptive management of expected side effects, and the use of non-opiate analgesics.
    • opiates are generally a poor choice for migraine headaches and most cases of low back pain
    • the oral route should be used if not contraindicated and patient likely to tolerate oral dose and rapid onset not required:
    • avoid mixing routes of administration of opiates
    • for short periods of analgesia such as for joint reductions:
      • fentanyl iv is the preferred opiate due to its short duration of action
    • for most other pain conditions warranting parenteral opiates:
      • morphine iv is the preferred opiate in the ED - usually in 2.5mg titrated doses for adults.
  • pethidine:
    • pethidine is no longer regarded as having a significant role in the management of ED patients, and thus, many ED's have decided to stop using it because of its tendency for substance abuse and that there are more effective options.
    • repeated doses of pethidine runs the risk of accumulation of its metabolite causing seizures.
    • indications for pethidine are very limited and usually restricted to:
      • maternity
      • oncology
      • palliative care
      • true type I hypersensitivity reactions to opiates (but anaphylaxis to opiates is actually quite rare)
      • certain rare conditions such as systemic mastocytosis which is associated with true anaphylaxis to NM blockers and opiates.
    • pethidine is NOT the analgesic of choice for migraine, pancreatitis, biliary or renal colic
    • chronic pain patients should be considered for referral to a chronic pain service
    • patients requesting pethidine should be considered for referral to an addiction medicine specialist.
opiates.txt · Last modified: 2023/04/11 06:17 by wh

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