Eduardo Bruera, MD; Tara MacEachern, RN, BScN; Carla Ripamonti, MD; John Hanson, MSc
Bruera E, MacEachern T, Ripamonti C, Hanson J. Subcutaneous Morphine for Dyspnea in Cancer Patients. Ann Intern Med. 1993;119:906-907. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-119-9-199311010-00007
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1993;119(9):906-907.
Dyspnea has been defined as an uncomfortable awareness of breathing . It occurs in approximately 29% to 74% of patients with terminal cancer [2, 3] and is perceived as one of the most devastating symptoms by the patient and the family. Controlled single-dose trials have suggested that opioids are effective in the management of dyspnea associated with chronic obstructive lung disease . However, opioids were poorly tolerated in these patients during repeated administration, mostly because of sedation and nausea . These side effects usually disappear with the development of tolerance and are rarely a cause for discontinuing treatment among the approximately 80% of terminal cancer patients who receive opioids for pain . However, the effects of opioids on the dyspnea of cancer have not been the focus of prospective studies.
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Hematology/Oncology, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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