Differences in the Prevalence and Severity of Side Effects Based on Type of Analgesic Prescription in Patients with Chronic Cancer Pain

Patrice Villars, Marylin Dodd, Claudia West, Theresa Koetters, Steven M. Paul, Karen Schumacher, Debu Tripathy, Peter Koo, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

An understanding of the relationship between the type of analgesic prescription and the prevalence and severity of side effects is crucial in making appropriate treatment decisions. The purposes of this study were to determine if there were differences in the prevalence of side effects among four different types of analgesic prescriptions (i.e., no opioid, only an as needed (PRN) opioid, only an around-the-clock (ATC) opioid, or an ATC + PRN opioid); to determine if there were differences in the severity of side effects among the four prescription groups; and to determine the relationships between the total dose of opioid analgesic medication prescribed and taken and the severity of side effects. As part of a larger study, 174 cancer patients with bone metastasis reported their analgesic use and the prevalence and severity of 11 side effects. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were found in prevalence rates for seven of the side effects among the four prescription groups. The highest prevalence rates were found in the only ATC and ATC + PRN groups. Significant differences were found in the severity scores for five of the side effects, with the highest severity scores reported by patients in the only ATC and ATC + PRN groups. Significant positive correlations were found between the severity of six of the side effects and the total dose of opioid prescribed and taken. Risk factors for analgesic-induced side effects are ATC and ATC + PRN prescription types and higher doses of opioid analgesics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2007

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Keywords

  • Opioid-induced side effects
  • analgesic side effects
  • cancer pain
  • chronic pain
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • sedation
  • sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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