Methadone response in advanced cancer patients with pain followed at home

Title

Methadone response in advanced cancer patients with pain followed at home

Creator

Mercadante S; Casuccio A; Agnello A; Barresi L

Publisher

Journal Of Pain And Symptom Management

Date

1999

Subject

Female; Humans; Male; Pain; Pain Measurement; Analgesics; Prospective Studies; Middle Aged; Sex Factors; Neoplasms/physiopathology; Methadone/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use; Opioid/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use; home care services; Intractable/drug therapy

Description

Concerns about the safety of therapy with methadone, which may arise because of its pharmacokinetic characteristics and inappropriate dosing, may deter clinicians from using this drug, especially in elderly patients. Experience is accumulating that the drug may be used safely and successfully if low doses are given initially and care is taken in the titration of the dose against the pain. A prospective study was carried out in a consecutive sample of 45 advanced cancer patients followed at home, who had never received other strong opioids for their pain. Patients were treated with an oral liquid preparation of methadone, which was administered 2-3 times daily, according to need. Doses were kept as low as possible and were titrated to achieve acceptable analgesia with minimal adverse effects. The methadone starting dose (MSD) at referral, the maximum dose of methadone (MMD), the days of methadone treatment, the use of other nonopioid analgesics, symptoms associated with methadone therapy, pain intensity, and pain mechanism were recorded. Methadone escalation index percentage (MEI%) and methadone escalation index in mg (MEI mg) were calculated from these parameters. No correlations between age and gender, and MSD, MMD, days on methadone, VAS and symptoms were found. No significant differences were found in pain mechanisms, age, and other parameters, including methadone-related symptoms. Treatment of pain with methadone provides important support to patients with cancer followed at home and the risks are low with individually titrated doses, even in older patients or in the presence of a neuropathic pain mechanism.
1999

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

188-192

Issue

3

Volume

18

Citation

Mercadante S; Casuccio A; Agnello A; Barresi L, “Methadone response in advanced cancer patients with pain followed at home,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 28, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12197.

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