Cancer Pain Relief: With a Guide to Opioid Availability
The second edition of a guide, which introduced a simple, yet highly effective method for the relief of cancer pain. Thoroughly revised and updated, the new edition further refines the WHO method, which advocates the use of a small number of relatively inexpensive drugs, including morphine. Revisions draw on experiences with millions of patients around the world as well as new knowledge about the specific pain syndromes unique to cancer. Completely new are chapters describing the international system by which morphine and other opioids are made available for medical purposes.
The book has two parts. Part one provides a practical guide to the relief of cancer pain, concentrating on drug treatment as the mainstay of pain management. The most extensive section sets out detailed guidelines for the selection and prescribing of non-opioid analgesics, opioid analgesics, drugs for neuropathic pain, and adjuvant drugs for the treatment of adverse effects, the enhancement of pain relief and the management of concomitant psychological disturbances. Information ranges from explanations of how specific drugs work, through the precautions to take in the presence of certain disorders, to a list of factors that influence the effectiveness of opioids. Concerning the use of opioids, readers are reminded that psychological dependence does not occur in cancer patients and that the only correct dose of morphine is the one that relieves the pain.
Part two provides a guide to opioid availability. A discussion of the reasons why opioids continue to be underprescribed or difficult to obtain is followed by an explanation of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.
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